Bernard Tippi, a French businessman, actor and politician whose lucrative career earned him millions of fans despite several legal convictions, died Sunday at the age of 78 after a four-year battle with stomach cancer.
“Dominic Tippi and his family are deeply saddened to announce the death of their husband and father, Bernard Tappi, this Sunday,” he said in a statement to Marseille’s La Provence newspaper. There was a tree.
His death was mourned by all political circles, with President Emmanuel Macron praising a “determination, energy and enthusiasm that has been a source of inspiration for generations of French people.”
Dozens of fans laid flowers outside Tippi’s mansion in the Paris-covered Saint-Germain neighborhood where he died.
“That’s what you call a prole who managed to climb the whole social ladder at a time when your path wasn’t so easy,” said Ludwig, a 23-year-old fan.
Many French TV stations immediately changed their scheduled prime time programming on Sunday to broadcast special reports, documentaries or their film and theater performances.
– ‘You have to fight’ –
Born in Paris on January 26, 1943, Tapi became one of France’s most successful businessmen from scratch, bought and revived dozens of failed companies, and enjoyed his wealth with an American-style temperament.
A big fan of the sport, he was a longtime chair of the Olympique de Marseille football club and bought a cycling team that won the Tour de France twice, anchored by French legend Bernard Henault.
He led Marseille to five consecutive league victories and the 1993 Champions League title. But allegations of match-fixing tarnished the team’s Champions League victory – only once a French club won the trophy.
A large black and white portrait of Tapi was erected outside the OMK Velodrome Stadium in Marseille on Sunday, with spectators gathered at a makeshift monument.
A funeral service will be held for him on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in the city’s St. Mary’s-Major Cathedral. Archbishop of Marseille, Jean-Marc Evelyn will preside over the ceremony.
He will be buried in Marseille’s Mausoleum Cemetery.
Jane Michelle Nichols said, “She had an incredible fortune. She did it all – business, politics, football, cycling, and Schengen. I’m a big fan, even if I don’t forget some of her legal issues.” I can. ” , Sitting on the roof of the OM Caf in Marseille.
– Rise and Fall –
Tapi also had time to act, playing a role that included a police inspector in a popular TV show.
He also worked in politics, becoming Minister of Civil Affairs in Francois Maternand’s Socialist Government in the 1990s – albeit for only two months.
Later, he was elected as a member of the left-wing French and European parliaments, based in Marseille, a city considered a stronghold.
But in the late 1990’s, Tapi’s reign came to a glorious end, beginning with a match-fixing trial that landed him in prison.
He was also convicted of corruption, tax fraud and misuse of corporate assets.
But his most controversial lawsuit came in 1990 over the purchase of the German sports brand Adidas, which he was forced to sell to state-owned bank Credit Levines just a few years later.
The winner of his initial claim that he had been cheated on the sale price, Tapi was awarded 403 million euros (47 470 million at current rates) by an arbitration panel in 2008.
But the payment was immediately scrutinized by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy for the approval of Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, a longtime TAPI ally.
A court later found him and five others guilty of fraud and ordered Tippi to return the money, a decision he appealed.
The verdict was set for Wednesday, but Tapi’s death means the court will end legal proceedings against him.
But many of their companies are still facing money and forced sale of assets to repay arbitration.
Lagarde, now president of the European Central Bank, was found guilty of negligence in 2016, although he was not fined or jailed.
In a book published this year – “Bernard Tappi: Lessons of Life, Death and Love” – he called the sale of Adidas the “biggest” of all the “stupid mistakes” of his career.
bur-alv / js / pbr / lb