Europe

Johnny Hallyday estate: Bardot wades into France family row

Brigitte Bardot Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bardot is known for her forthright views on animal rights and other issues

Brigitte Bardot has become the latest French celebrity to weigh in on a family dispute over the estate of the late singer Johnny Hallyday.

In a radio interview, the movie legend urged Hallyday's widow Laeticia - named as his main heir - to give some of the money back to his older children.

Singer David Hallyday and actress Laura Smet, who were left with nothing, are contesting their father's will.

Johnny Hallyday died in December from lung cancer at the age of 74.

Bardot told French radio station Europe 1 on Saturday: "I am disgusted. If I were Laeticia, I would put things right. I would give David and Laura what they deserve."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Laura Smet (left) is contesting the award to Hallyday's fourth wife, Laeticia (right)

Under the country's inheritance laws, which go back to the French Revolution, all children should be given roughly equal shares of an estate.

But Hallyday, who had a home in California and was domiciled there for tax purposes, left everything in his will to Laeticia, his fourth wife, and their two adopted daughters.

Laura Smet, 34, and David Hallyday, 51, announced their legal challenge last week.

Since then a number of big names in the world of French entertainment have spoken out on the matter.

Eddy Mitchell, another French rock legend and friend of the late singer, said: "I don't understand how someone can disinherit his children."

Image copyright AFp/getty
Image caption Laura Smet and her half-brother David Hallyday got nothing from the will

Actor Jean Reno, a friend of both Johnny and Laeticia, urged the family not to yield to "hatred".

Singer Sylvie Vartan, Hallyday's first wife and David's mother, said that during their divorce in 1980 she had urged Johnny to give her share of their home to their son.

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