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Bernard Tapie, the story of an Atlantic record on the luxury yacht Phocéa

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Suffering from cancer for several years, Bernard Tapie died at his home this Sunday morning, October 3, 2021. Businessman, politician, actor, he was also a lover of the sea. Here is a look back at a record-breaking transatlantic voyage aboard his luxury yacht Phocéa, with a crew.

Chloé Torterat

A refit to be more efficient

Bernard Tapie was a real jack-of-all-trades, mixing several careers and hobbies at once. One of which is of particular interest to us, sailing.

In 1982, Bernard Tapie bought the former Club Méditerranée to the widow of Alain Colas . Repatriated from Tahiti to Marseille , the 4-masted sailing boat was completely refitted. The businessman transformed it into a luxurious sailing yacht, but did not omit the sporting side of the boat , favoring the use of light materials. With a length of 74.37 m, the Phocéa is at the time, the largest yacht in the world, dethroned in 2004 by the Athena.

Le Phocéa de Bernard Tapie

Breaking the Atlantic record under sail in a monohull

After 4 years of work and 10 million euros committed (68 million francs), Phocéa (its new name) is ready to break records. This is the objective set by its owner. After a first failed attempt, Bernard Tapie tried in June 1988, to beat the Atlantic record from west to east in a monohull. This record was held at the time by Atlantic Charlie Barr's schooner in 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds.

On departure from New York, he entrusted the helm of the Phocéa to Captain Jean-Luc Pinon, assisted by Pierre Gaillet. Also present were two helmsmen, Frank Dambrin and François Prévost. In total, 20 people were on board, including a TF1 journalist who was supposed to report on the epic every day during the television news, and of course, Bernard Tapie himself.

Bernard Tapie sur son voilier Phocéa

A dangerous record

According to witnesses, after two days, the boat sank into the sea, which made its owner lose patience. A storm was then announced and, against the captain's advice, Bernard Tapie decided to stay on course and continue his crossing, putting his crew in danger. He realized this at the end of the crossing.

In total, the four-masted ship went down and got up four times, battered by the huge waves . For the anecdote, the journalist on board even went into a tetanic coma, unable to move, paralyzed by fear.

Phocéa, equipped with 2 spinnakers, 4 genoas and 2 mainsails - 3,000 m2 of canvas in total - swallows up the miles - more than 400 miles some days - at speeds approaching 20 knots. Managing to overcome the storm , the crew reached Saint-Malo after 8 days, 3 hours and 29 minutes, with an average speed of 14.96 knots over a course of 2925 miles. This beat Charlie Barr's record by 4 days.

Phocéa, rebaptisé et refité

Record breaking

If he beats the Atlantic record of Charlie Barr, and several racing multihulls of the time, his record is only homologated by the WSSR - homologation of sailing records - in the 5c category (sailboats equipped with auxiliary power, in this case winches with hydraulic assistance).

Seized in 1996 by Bernard Tapie, the Phocéa was bought several times, before being sold to the catch fire in February 2021 in Malaysia .

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Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021

Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021

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Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021, Marseille

The Phocéa at Port Vauban in Antibes in 2009.

In 1976, navigator Alain Colas (record holder of the 1973 solo round-the-world sailing trip in 169 days on his Pen Duick IV "Manureva") had this exceptional vessel built, designed by naval architect Michel Bigouin (creator of Pen Duick IV and Pen Duick V) at the Toulon arsenal. He finances everything through his company Alain-Colas-Tahiti SA with an exceptional ability to solicit sponsors. The ship is built within the confines of the Mourillon arsenal in Toulon. Unique and revolutionary boat 72 meters long, it was initially baptized Club Méditerranée, and has 1 m000 of sail area, 2 masts 4 meters high. It is equipped with very advanced technological equipment for the time. This boat having to perform the English Transat (solo transatlantic) and the solo round the world, it must be able to be maneuvered by a single person: the maneuver of the boat is entirely assisted by a hydraulic pilot system. This then state-of-the-art boat is one of the largest and fastest racing sailboats in the world, capable of theoretically reaching a top speed of 30 knots (or 30 km/h).

On June 5, 1976, Alain Colas took the start of the fifth English Transat solo, in Plymouth. The following days, five storms follow one another in the North Atlantic, several boats sink. On Club Méditerranée, they caused the halyards, cables holding the sails, to break. Alain Colas decides on a technical stopover in Newfoundland, which lasts thirty-six hours. On June 29, he arrived in Newport in fifth place after a fixed penalty of 58 hours, but only 7 hours and 28 minutes in real time behind Éric Tabarly.

In 1978, Alain Colas was reported missing at sea on November 16 while taking part in the Route du Rhum on his Pen Duick IV “Manureva”. His wife Teura Colas then inherited his company and its boats, which had been abandoned for many years in Tahiti.

Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021, Marseille

The Phocea off Pampelonne in Saint-Tropez.

In 1982, businessman Bernard Tapie bought Club Méditerranée and Alain-Colas-Tahiti SA from Teura Colas, which he made a subsidiary of his group. He repatriates the wreckage of the boat to Marseilles from Tahiti where he has it completely restored and transformed into a luxury yacht, while retaining its sporting spirit. Thus, only light materials are used to fit out the Phocéa, which remains very efficient under sail. Bernard Tapie wants to make the Phocéa the most beautiful and the most efficient sailboat in the world. The renovation will last four years, at a cost of 68 million francs (10 million euros). On May 23, 1987, by way of inauguration, he married Dominique Mialet-Damianos, of Greek origin, on board in Greece during a private ceremony with some friends, celebrated by a Greek Orthodox priest and made his first cruise in the Mediterranean at on board for her honeymoon.

In 1988, on his second attempt, Bernard Tapie broke the record for crossing the Atlantic in a monohull with this boat in June. Bernard Tapie is personally on board for the crossing as owner.

Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021, Marseille

The fire on February 18, 2021

Ex-wife of billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid, businessman Saudi real estate developer and personal friend of the King of Saudi Arabia Fahd ben Abdelaziz Al Saud, Mouna Ayoub buys Phocéa with the idea of ​​transforming it in depth. Little sensitive to the sporting spirit that animated Bernard Tapie, Mouna Ayoub replaced the light materials used for decoration by the latter with heavier materials, in the tradition of luxury yachting. It also reduces the size of the masts and the sails, hampered by the significant angle of heel of the boat under sail. Finally, she adds a floor to have more space. Mouna Ayoub thus spends a total of 17 million dollars in modifications, development and decoration work. In the opinion of all observers of the yachting world, these changes are not very flattering for the Phocéa: the formerly slender line is weighed down by the shortening of the masts and the addition of a floor, as well as by the use of the color white for the superstructure which “stands out” visually much more. In addition, the ship has become 60% heavier and has lost 35% of sail area, making its performance under sail, once exceptional, much more common. Mouna Ayoub makes Phocéa her personal address and rents it out from €196 per week. The new owners of the Phocéa continue to offer it on charter.

In 2010, Mouna Ayoub resold the yacht for approximately 10 million euros to Xavier Niel, associated with brothers Steve and Jean-Émile Rosenblum, the founders of the Pixmania site. The yacht is registered in Luxembourg. It is owned by a Maltese company, Phocea Limited. This in turn is 50% owned by the NJJ Capital holding company (French company owned by Xavier Niel) and the Dotcorp Finance holding company (Luxembourg company owned by the Rosenblum brothers). On the occasion of the disclosure of the "Malta Files", the financial arrangement used for the management of Phocéa is highlighted.

The Phocéa sank after being partially destroyed by fire on February 18, 2021 while anchored in the Langkawi archipelago in Malaysia.

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Breaking The Lines

The Rise and Fall of Bernard Tapie’s Marseille: Part 3: Nuits Blanches Et Thés Frelatés

This is the third installation of a six-part series on Olympique de Marseille. You can read “Part 1: L’homme d’affairs,” here , and  “Part 2: La Nuit Les Projecteurs Se Sont Éteints,” here . You can read “Part 4: La Balance,” here. You can read “Part 5: Les Retombées,” here . You can read “Part 6: Le Mec de La Courneuve,” here.

In Europe, Raymond Goethals’ side were holding out hope that the newly formatted Champions League tournament would see their fortunes turn around in international competition. After dispatching Glentoran and Dinamo București in the opening rounds, Marseille were drawn into a group of Rangers, Club Brugge, and CSKA Moscow. Les Phocéens succumbed to a draw in Scotland after conceding two late goals, but they bounced back two weeks later with a resounding 3-0 win against Club Brugge.

Marseille traveled to Berlin to take on CSKA Moscow for the third matchday. UEFA had prevented CSKA from hosting their matches in their home country due to the unstable political situation in Russia, but even in a makeshift home, CSKA were formidable opponents. In the previous round, they had eliminated Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona from the Champions League, with CSKA clawing their way back from two goals down to prevail with a 4-3 victory at the Camp Nou.

After settling for a 1-1 draw at the Olympiastadion, Marseille demonstrated their Champions League credentials with a 6-0 thrashing of CSKA Moscow at home. It was a puzzling scoreline in its own right, but the accusations that followed only raised more eyebrows. CSKA manager Gennadi Kostylev claimed that his players’ drinks had been spiked with an “adulterated tea,” causing them to fall sick prior to the match in France. He also claimed that he received a call  from a Marseille official who offered him money in exchange for throwing the match. However, Kostylev abruptly withdrew his allegations when pressed by UEFA.

On April 7, 1993, Marseille faced off against Rangers at the Vélodrome. The stakes could not be higher; both teams had entered the match with 5 points, having won two matches and drawn 2-2 in Glasgow. As such, Marseille needed either a win, a 1-1 draw, or a stalemate in order to go into the final matchday as group leaders. Rangers, on the other hand, needed a victory or a high-scoring draw in order to leapfrog their French opponents and move to the top of Group A.

As fate would have it, they would have to face Marseille without star striker Mark Hateley, who scored the equalizer at Ibrox in the opening group stage match. The English forward had carved out a reputation for himself as a physically imposing target man with a goalscoring instinct, having scored 23 goals in 35 appearances for Rangers during the prior campaign. 

In the days leading up to Rangers’ home match against Club Brugge, Hateley received a call from a French-speaking agent, who offered him a large sum of cash not to play against Marseille. Hateley refused, but midway through the Brugge match, he was sent off for a seemingly innocuous scuffle in the penalty area and suspended for the following match.

Even without their top scorer, Rangers remained determined to grind out a result in France. The hosts broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Franck Sauzée connected on Rudi Völler’s cross and slammed a half-volley past Andy Moram in goal, but Rangers equalized after halftime via a goal from Ian Durrant. By the time referee Mario van der Ende blew the final whistle, the Glaswegians had found themselves tied on points with Marseille going into the final match, albeit behind on goal difference and away goals.

Whilst Rangers prepared to take on CSKA Moscow at Ibrox, Goethals’ side traveled to Brugge in need of a victory to guarantee progression to the Champions League Final. Two days before the match, a Marseille official transferred $311,000 via a Swiss account to a bank in Brussels, where an intermediary named Michel Tincler withdrew the cash and deposited it to an unidentified Belgian man. Tincler would later reveal that he was acting under the orders of Marseille financial director Alain Laroche.

Within two minutes, Marseille had taken the lead against Club Brugge. Fabien Barthez launched a long ball towards Völler, but the German striker lost his footing and coughed it up to Brugge left back Vital Borkelmans. Borkelmans took a bizarrely heavy touch, and the ball traveled to the nearby Jean-Marc Ferreri, who slid the ball past two Brugge defenders and into the path of Alen Bokšić.

Bokšić calmly slotted the opening goal past Dany Verlinden, who was far too slow to come off his line. The visitors failed to muster any real attacking threat over the following 90 minutes, and Marseille prevailed with a 1-0 victory. Rangers finished one point behind the group winners, whilst Marseille booked their ticket for Munich, where they would meet Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan.

In domestic competition, things were going rather swimmingly for Goethals’ men. After being eliminated from the Coupe de France at the quarterfinals stage, Marseille bounced back with a 4-1 home victory over Lille. It meant that four games — Valenciennes, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Toulouse — stood between them and a historic league + Champions League double. If Marseille were to lose to Valenciennes and PSG, they would go into the final matchday level on points with Les Parisiens. On the other hand, if they managed to beat Valenciennes on May 20, they could seal the league title with a win or draw against PSG.

As the Olympians eyed a fifth consecutive league title, their owner braced for a new battle in the courtroom. Tapie’s business empire had become riddled with debt, mainly stemming from the $398 million in loans that he had acquired in order to complete the purchase of Adidas. He was forced to sell his stakes in La Vie Claire, the Donnay tennis racquet company, and the TF1 television network.

He had even tried to sell Adidas for $400 million, but the deal broke down after the buying company found serious problems inside the German sportswear manufacturer. Desperate to meet the loan repayment deadlines, Tapie sold his controlling share of Adidas for $370 million, or $30 million less than the price that he had negotiated seven months prior.

Tapie, who had been reinstated as Minister of Urban Affairs just seven months after resigning, claimed that he agreed to the sale in order to focus on his political career. The leaders of the conservative opposition, widely expected to take power in the upcoming elections, vowed to open an investigation, claiming that he had used state-run firms to bail himself out of trouble. “It’s immoral for big public enterprises to help their friends in power,” said Fran ç ois d’Aubert, leader of the center-right Union for French Democracy. “Would any other chief executive benefit from the same banking support?”

At that juncture in time, Tapie would have surely read the writing on the wall. He would have seen the buzzards circling over his Paris mansion, the storm clouds enveloping the Mediterranean’s horizon, the salivating hyenas baying for blood. He would have remembered the 1991 European Cup Final, when a spate of injuries prevented Goethals from fielding a full-strength team in Bari. He would have arrived at a crossroads that countless poker players had faced before him: to fold, or to throw all of the chips on the table. Tapie went all in.

Marseille’s squad arrived in the border town of Valenciennes for what seemed like a straightforward affair. Les Athéniens had only just returned to the top flight last summer, and they had teetered on the brink of relegation for the entirety of the campaign. On the other hand, Marseille came into the game as league leaders, having won 6 of their last 7 league matches by a combined scoreline of 19 to 4. Their red-hot form did little to comfort their owner, who refused to take any chances ahead of the most decisive week in club history. Rather than sit back and watch, Tapie called an audible.

Born in the southwestern village of Angoulême, Jean-Jacques Eydelie began his footballing career at Nantes, amassing 132 appearances for the club before joining Marseille in the summer of 1992. A holding midfielder by trade, Eydelie had established himself as a versatile squad player for Goethals, able to do a job on either flank as a wingback or provide defensive protection in the middle of the pitch. But on May 16, 1993, it wasn’t Goethals who was asking him to do a job; it was Tapie.

Four days before the Valenciennes match, Eydelie boarded the glamorous Phocéa for one of Tapie’s customary yacht parties. It was on this boat where Tapie informed him of his master plan. He told him to get in touch with two Valenciennes players, Christophe Robert and Jorge Burruchaga, and bribe them to ‘take it easy’ on Thursday. Eydelie had played with Robert and Burruchaga during their time at Nantes; if there was anyone capable of crossing over to the other side and soliciting the offer, it was him.

The plan was relayed over to Goethals, general manager Jean-Pierre Bernès, and a group of players who were on the yacht, such as Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly. “All the players knew that this match was going to be arranged, but it was Tapie who asked Eydelie if he could contact the Valenciennes players,” later recalled Bernès. “If we won in Valenciennes, the match against PSG wouldn’t be anything more than a friendly match and in addition, Mr. Tapie wanted us to avoid injuries before the Final.”

On the night before the match, Eydelie and Bernès placed a call to room 215 of hotel du Lac, where Robert, Burruchaga, and their teammate Jacques Glassmann were staying. In exchange for ‘taking their foot off the pedal’ and losing, each player would receive a cash envelope containing 200,000 francs. “Tomorrow, you have what? A one in ten chance of winning?” argued Bernès. “Do you prefer to lose with 200,000 francs in your pocket or zero?”

Robert and Burruchaga quickly agreed to the deal on the condition that 50% was paid up front; Glassman, however, was unconvinced. As Robert’s wife drove to the hotel parking lot to pick up the advance payment, Glassman confided in his significant other, Audrey: “I do not know what to do. If I don’t speak, I’ll curse myself. If I speak, no one will believe me.” Audrey, however, was more strident: “ You have no choice. If you don’t say anything, it will backfire on you.”

Jacques Glassmann did not go to sleep on the night before the biggest match of his career. Instead, he paced around the hotel room, smoked cigarette after cigarette, and racked his brain for a clear-cut decision. By the time the sun rose in the north of France, Glassmann had made up his mind: he would speak.

After the morning training session, Glassmann informed his manager Boro Primorac of the proposal. Primorac relayed the information to Valenciennes president Michel Coencas, who barged into Robert’s hotel room and threatened to shoot his player in the knee if he didn’t tell the truth; Robert, however, denied the allegations.

As Tapie chatted with Valenciennes mayor Jean-Louis Borloo, the players took the field at the Stade Nungesser at 8:30 p.m. Marseille broke the deadlock in the 21st minute; Abedi Pelé raced down the right flank and fired a trivela cross into the box, Bokšić scored the follow-through after his initial effort was saved by Michel Pageaud. Two minutes later, Robert collapsed after a seemingly innocuous tackle from Éric Di Meco, and was promptly subbed off for Kálmán Kovács.

“Usually Jorge Burruchaga disputed everything, but that evening, not only did he not dispute anything, he asked others to be silent,” noted referee Jean-Marie Véniel in his match report. “Conversely, Jacques Glassmann ran around as if he was trying to prove something.”

Marseille held onto a slim 1-0 win, and sealed the title the following weekend with a 3-1 victory against Paris Saint-Germain. Valenciennes, on the other hand, were relegated to the second tier that same exact day, after losing to Saint-Étienne. However, trouble was afoot.

By: Zach Lowy

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / SNS Group

Fire hits yacht that belonged to French tycoon off Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) –

Issued on: 18/02/2021 - 13:06 Modified: 18/02/2021 - 13:04

A multi-million-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie went up in flames off Malaysia Thursday, with firefighters battling for hours to put out the blaze.

Coastguards said they were alerted to the fire on the 75 metre (246 foot) Phocea just after 8:00 am (0000 GMT) when it was off the resort island of Langkawi.

Seven crew members were rescued from the vessel without suffering injuries, said coastguard official Mohamad Zawawi Abdullah, but firefighters were still battling to extinguish the blaze in the evening.

The four-masted yacht was built for renowned French sailor Alain Colas in 1976 and was owned by Tapie in the 1980s and 90s.

It was later sold to a wealthy Lebanese woman for 36.5 million francs (7.5 million euros at current values), according to media reports.

Tapie is a former Socialist minister who rose from humble beginnings to build up a sporting and media empire but later faced a string of legal problems.

He had made a fortune in the early part of his career by taking over failing companies, and flaunted his wealth. As well as the yacht, he bought a football team.

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Bernard Tapie, French magnate trailed by scandal in business and soccer, dies at 78

bernard tapie yacht

Bernard Tapie, the flamboyant French business tycoon who raced cars, starred on television, served in parliament and owned one of the country’s premier soccer clubs, becoming an object of national fascination even as he faced repeated scandals and went to prison for a bribery scheme, died on Oct. 3 at 78. The cause was cancer, according to his family who told La Provence, a Marseille newspaper that he had owned since 2012.

Raised in the Paris suburbs, where his father worked at a refrigerator factory, Mr. Tapie became a multimillionaire before he was 40, buying ailing companies, stripping them of their assets and selling them for a profit. His holdings once included the health store chain La Vie Claire, tennis racket manufacturer Donnay and sportswear giant Adidas. “If there is one thing I know how to do,” he once declared, “it is making dough.”

Mr. Tapie used the proceeds to buy one of the world’s largest sailing yachts called the Phocea, finance a cycling team that won two consecutive Tour de France titles, and acquire a lackluster soccer club, Olympique de Marseille, that he grew into a national and European champion.

Tanned and jowly, with bushy eyebrows and dark wavy hair, he was sometimes described as the French Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media mogul who ran the A.C. Milan soccer club and served four times as prime minister. He maintained a similar populist appeal, emerging as a blunt spokesperson for the Socialist Party after he called far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen “a big mouth who should be kicked in the butt” in 1989.

Mr. Tapie was elected to the French parliament that year as a deputy from Marseille, and he was soon ranked in polls as one of the country’s most popular politicians, behind only the president, prime minister and head of the National Assembly. He briefly served as urban affairs minister in President François Mitterrand’s cabinet and was cited as a potential successor, with rumored ambitions to move into the Élysée Palace.

But the “Zorro of business,” as French newspapers called him, saw his fortunes evaporate in the 1990s, when he was declared bankrupt, convicted of tax evasion and found guilty of offering bribes to three soccer players in a match-rigging scheme. Mr. Tapie spent six months in prison in 1997 for the bribery conviction and was banned from French soccer for life.

To some, his fall was just deserts for a flashy outspoken millionaire and gleeful self-promoter. “The collapse of Bernard Tapie has become a sort of symbol, the symbol of a triple failure: that of a tabloid society ... that of an era of easy money and hysterical financing which was the 1980s, and that of the power of an ambition to change life,” journalist Philippe Labarde wrote about the French mogul in a column for Le Monde.

Yet Mr. Tapie remained a beloved figure among admirers who said he took on the Paris elite, and among Marseille fans who credited him with the club’s glory years. After he bought the team in 1986, he bankrolled the acquisition of stars including Fabien Barthez, Didier Deschamps and Jean-Pierre Papin, helping Marseille win five straight French league titles. The club won the 1993 Champions League final, becoming the first and only French team to win Europe’s most prestigious soccer tournament, but was forced to vacate its French title that year after the match-fixing scandal.

“I was rich, I am no longer,” a seemingly unshaken Mr. Tapie told Le Figaro in 1995. “I was fashionable, I am no longer. I was president of a European championship team, I am no longer. I ran businesses, I no longer do so. Many French people have more to complain about than do I.”

Rather than fade from public life, he appeared in a 1996 film by director Claude Lelouch, “Men, Women: A User’s Manual,” starred as a rebellious psychiatric hospital patient in a Paris production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” hosted radio and television shows, and recorded a duet with the French hip-hop artist Doc Gynéco released in 1998.

For more than two decades, he was also embroiled in lawsuits related to the sale of Adidas. He had used nearly $400 million worth of loans to acquire a controlling interest in the company in 1990, calling it “the deal of my life.” But he sold the business less than three years later in a transaction involving the state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais, reportedly while in dire financial straits and trying to focus on his political career.

Alleging that the deal was mismanaged, he sued Crédit Lyonnais, accusing the company of undervaluing Adidas and bilking him in the sale. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who eventually led the International Monetary Fund, referred the case to arbitration and approved a settlement in 2008, with Mr. Tapie receiving 404 million euros, or $421 million.

Critics said the case should have gone through the normal court system instead of arbitration and alleged that Mr. Tapie had received favorable treatment because he had backed Lagarde’s boss, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the 2007 presidential election. Mr. Tapie denied the allegations and continued to fight for compensation after a French court ruled in 2015 that he was not entitled to payment after all.

Authorities were still investigating the settlement in recent years. Lagarde was found guilty of negligence — she denied wrongdoing and was not fined or imprisoned — and Mr. Tapie was acquitted of defrauding the state in 2019. Prosecutors appealed that decision, leading to a new trial that began in May, with Mr. Tapie already seriously ill. A verdict had not yet been handed down when he died.

Mr. Tapie previously said he remained haunted by his decision to sell Adidas in the first place. “I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but that was the biggest one,” he told his biographer, according to the Financial Times. “Selling one of the best known sports brands in the world for a short-lived stint as minister,” he said.

The older of two sons, Mr. Tapie was born in Paris on Jan. 26, 1943, and grew up in the northeastern suburb of Le Bourget. His father was pressed into working for the occupying German forces, and his mother worked as a nurse’s aide and homemaker.

Mr. Tapie studied engineering and, after completing his military service, won a singing competition at age 21, prompting him to pursue a career as a pop star under the name Bernard Tapy. In 1966, RCA released his version of “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” describing him in the liner notes as “a sporty good-looking enfant du peuple with a smile that has all the cheeky charm of a kid from the back streets of Paris.”

But he sold relatively few albums and also found little success in racing, driving a Formula Three until he was hospitalized in an accident, according to Le Monde. Switching his focus to business, he sold television sets in Paris and worked as a consultant, making his first major acquisition in the 1970s, when he used a single franc to buy the debt of a printing company that had been occupied by its workers.

Mr. Tapie developed a repayment schedule with the bank and arranged for part-ownership with the workers, rejuvenating the company’s finances before buying 40 companies between 1977 and 1989, according to the British newspaper the Independent. For much of that decade, he also appeared on television, including as the host of “Ambitions,” in which he helped people launch their own businesses.

He had two children from his first marriage, to Michèle Layec, which ended in divorce. Mr. Tapie also had two children from his second marriage, to Dominique Mialet-Damianos. He and his wife were attacked in April this year during a burglary at their home in Combs-la-Ville near Paris, where authorities said that four men beat them, tied them up with electrical cords and stole watches and jewelry.

Complete information on survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Tapie liked to say that “strange things happen in soccer,” a maxim that received further proof after the match-fixing scandal was exposed in 1993. After one of his alibis collapsed at the trial, he declared that he had “lied in good faith,” prompting the judge to say, “You could have that phrase studied in a philosophy textbook.”

The court case left him with a reputation as a fabulist, although Mr. Tapie insisted that he told the truth, or something like it. “I don’t lie,” he told the French daily Libération. “When I speak, I believe it to be true. One week later, it may no longer be.”

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Le château de Berg, la maison du grand-duc Henri et de la grande-duchesse Maria Teresa

Alain chabat : rare tapis rouge avec sa femme tiara comte, bérénice bejo, bouquet final du festival de cannes, splendeur et misères du "phocéa", le bateau mythique de bernard tapie.

Le voilier, qui a fait rêver tant de marins, a sombré au large de la Malaisie le 19 février dernier. Construit en 1976 pour le navigateur Alain Colas, son histoire, romanesque, en a fait un mythe. Devenu yacht de luxe, il a séduit les grosses fortunes, Mouna Ayoub, Xavier Niel ou Bernard Tapie, son propriétaire le plus emblématique. Rebaptisé "Enigma", il naviguait ces dernières années dans les eaux troubles des paradis fiscaux.

« Grand bateau », c’est ainsi qu’Alain Colas surnommait son monocoque géant alors en construction dans l’arsenal du Mourillon, à Toulon. L’ex-élève de Tabarly, devenu son rival, s’est lancé dans un projet fou : concevoir et bâtir le plus grand voilier du monde pour prendre le départ de la Transat anglaise en solitaire de 1976. Un demi-siècle qu’on n’avait pas mis en chantier un tel navire : 72 mètres de longueur, 4 mâts, 250 tonnes, des innovations et des instruments à la pointe de la technologie.

En novembre 1975, immobilisé à Clammecy chez ses parents après s'être presque arraché le pied dans une chaîne d'ancre, Alain Colas fignole sa maquette.

Michel Bigoin, architecte naval marseillais, sera le maître d’œuvre ; Gaston Defferre, le parrain ; Gilbert Trigano, le sponsor de cette F1 des mers qui va s’appeler « Club-Méditerranée ». Dans cette aventure, tout est démesuré – y compris le budget de 10 millions de francs – et surtout périlleux. Car Alain Colas s’engage dans cette compétition avec un handicap : malgré une vingtaine d’opérations pour réparer sa cheville et son pied, broyés par une chaîne de grappin, il marche toujours difficilement. Il finira cinquième de cette course, remportée par Eric Tabarly.

Le quatre-mâts a été baptisé le 24 avril 1976 en présence de son concepteur, Alain Colas, de sa compagne Teura, et de Gaston Deferre, maire de Marseille.

Surendetté mais terriblement obstiné, le navigateur réarme « Club-Méditerranée » en bateau de croisière pour touristes américains et cabote sans grand succès dans l’archipel polynésien. Jusqu’à ce drame, survenu le 16 novembre 1978, lors de la première édition de la Route du rhum. Parti à bord de « Manureva », Alain Colas est officiellement porté disparu. Le bateau ne sera jamais retrouvé, ouvrant la voie aux spéculations les plus hasardeuses. Le marin laisse derrière lui sa veuve tahitienne Teura et leurs trois enfants : une fille, Vaimiti, 4 ans, et des jumeaux de 8 mois, Torea et Tereva. Reste « Club-Méditerranée », désormais sans capitaine. A l’abandon dans le port de Papeete, le fier voilier n’est plus qu’une épave rongée par la rouille.

En 1993, dans les salons de "Phocéa", le président de l'OM reçoit ses champions d'Europe, dont Didier Deschamps (à dr.) et Marcel Desailly (à g.).

Bernard Tapie , qui connaît les dettes abyssales de la famille, y voit une affaire à saisir. Il le rachète pour une somme dérisoire, tout en garantissant une rente destinée à financer les études des enfants d’Alain Colas jusqu’à leurs 18 ans. Pour lui, ce quatre-mâts n’est pas seulement synonyme de business, de montage financier ou de défiscalisation. Tapie tombe fou amoureux de cette carcasse légendaire pour laquelle il a de grandes ambitions. Rafistolé, le « grand bateau » rejoint Marseille pour quatre ans de travaux pharaoniques qui coûteront 68 millions de francs. Michel Bigoin, le concepteur du navire, va le réaménager pour en livrer une version 5 étoiles, sans l’alourdir. Il doit rester compétitif. Désormais yacht de luxe, rebaptisé « Phocéa » en hommage à Marseille, le bateau va battre en 1988 le record du monde de la traversée de l’Atlantique en monocoque d’ouest en Est. Record jamais tombé depuis 1905. Tapie est « à la barre », frôlant la mort, tout comme l’équipage, qui pousse le quatre-mâts jusqu’à ses limites. Tout lui sourit. On est en pleine Tapie-mania.

Dans ce bureau flottant, Bernard Tapie conclut le rachat d'Adidas et de Toshiba

Le « Phocéa » devient vite l’épicentre de sa galaxie professionnelle et personnelle. A son bord, au large de Corfou, il épouse Dominique. Dans ce bureau flottant, il conclut le rachat d’Adidas et de Toshiba, règle les transferts des joueurs et y fêtera en 1993 la victoire de l’OM en Coupe d’Europe. Le bateau lui permet de cultiver ses réseaux, d’organiser « séminaires » et réunions secrètes, comme ce fut le cas lors du scandale de corruption du match OM-Valenciennes. Le yacht sera aussi son talon d’Achille via l’affaire « Phocéa » qui le conduira devant les tribunaux pour abus de biens sociaux et fraude fiscale.

Cannes, mai 2003, la milliardaire Mouna Ayoub pose sur le pont du bateau qu'elle a racheté en 1997.

Tapie est à la prison de la Santé quand, en 1997, une annonce paraît dans le « Herald Tribune » : le « Phocéa » est à vendre. Mouna Ayoub, milliardaire jet-setteuse, le rachète pour 36,5 millions de francs et transforme son pont en salon VIP. Elle y organisera des séances photo tout à sa gloire, posant telle une sirène sculpturale en Bikini. Décoration tapageuse, fêtes démesurées, location à la semaine pour 180 000 euros… Mouna Ayoub exploite le yacht pendant treize ans. Puis, en 2010, il passe aux mains de l’homme d’affaires Xavier Niel, fondateur de Free, associé avec les frères Rosenblum (Pixmania). La gestion du bateau est confiée à un « homme d’affaires et investisseur du Vanuatu ». Endommagé dans une tempête en 2013, le voilier est convoyé vers la Thaïlande pour réparations. Il ne quittera plus l’Asie du Sud-Est, où il finira par couler mystérieusement après un incendie. L’épave repose aujourd’hui sur les fonds de l’île paradisiaque de Langkawi.

Lire aussi. Le Phocéa, l'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie, a coulé au large de la Malaisie

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Fire hits yacht that belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie off Malaysia

bernard tapie yacht

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A multi-million-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie went up in flames off Malaysia on Thursday (Feb 18), with firefighters battling for hours to put out the blaze.

Coastguards said they were alerted to the fire on the 75 metre (246 foot) Phocea just after 8pm when it was off the resort island of Langkawi.

Seven crew members were rescued from the vessel without suffering injuries, said coastguard official Mohamad Zawawi Abdullah, but firefighters were still battling to extinguish the blaze in the evening.

The four-masted yacht was built for renowned French sailor Alain Colas in 1976 and was owned by Tapie in the 1980s and 90s.

It was later sold to a wealthy Lebanese woman for 36.5 million francs (7.5 million euros/S$12 million at current values), according to media reports.

Tapie is a former Socialist minister who rose from humble beginnings to build up a sporting and media empire but later faced a string of legal problems.

He had made a fortune in the early part of his career by taking over failing companies, and flaunted his wealth. As well as the yacht, he bought a football team.

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Class Act: Is it a true story? Who was Bernard Tapie? All your questions answered about the Netflix series

Class Act is a new mini-series available on Netflix that focuses on the life of French businessman turned-politician Bernard Tapie. But how much of it is based on true events?

Class Act, or Tapie, on Netflix

Netflix’s new fictionalized biopic Class Act tells the story of the rise and fall, the successes and the failures, of Bernard Tapie. Singer, businessman, TV host, politician… Bernard Tapie wore many caps but mostly left his mark on French society for being one of its most controversial public figures.

While the show is based on the life of a real person, its creators, Tristan Séguéla and Olivier Demangel, took care of cautioning viewers before each episode with a warning: "This series is loosely based on a true story. The hero’s journey is based on facts known to the public. The role played by his entourage, and Dominique, their private lives and the dialogue are fictional."

So how much of what viewers see in Class Act is true? Here is everything you need to know about who Bernard Tapie really was and how the Netflix series adapted his story…

NOTE : This article contains spoilers regarding key plot points of the Netflix series Class Act.

Was Bernard Tapie really a singer, businessman, TV host, politician and sports club owner?

The real Bernard Tapie, just like the character played by Laurent Lafitte in Class Act , was a jack-of-all-trades who dived into many business, artistic, and political ventures.

As shown in the Netflix series, he indeed recorded music (in fact not one but several songs, and not only in the 1960s but also in the 1980s and 1990s). He was also the host of several TV shows, including one called Ambitions (renamed Réussite in the Netflix series) and was even an actor in several films and TV series. He even did theatre!

However, it is as a businessman, a politician, and for owing the football club Olympique de Marseille that Tapie was well known in France. Class Act shows some of the real businesses Bernard Tapie built, like Coeur Assistance, and some of the ones that he bought, like Wonder and Adidas.

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What was Tapie’s political career?

As seen in the series, Tapie did become Minister of City Affairs under the government of Pierre Bérégovoy during François Mitterand's presidency. What the Netflix series doesn't show, however, is that after being forced to resign due to legal issues, Tapie was asked to return to the Ministry of City Affairs a few months later, in 1992.

In the following years, he remained in politics and was a member of the National Assembly before becoming a European deputy. He only stopped his involvement in politics in 1995 following more legal problems, and not because his wife had an issue with it (as it is depicted in Class Act ).

Did Bernard Tapie really go to prison ?

Bernard Tapie had to face Justice many times throughout his life and was even condemned to prison several times, although the only time he was actually incarcerated was following the corruption scandal around the Olympique de Marseille football club. He was accused of fixing the match between his club and minor club Valenciennes and was sentenced in 1995 to two years in prison, including eight months non-suspended and three years of deprivation of his civic rights. He stayed in prison for six months.

After this, Bernard Tapie had several other legal difficulties but did not serve time again. At the time of his death, in 2021, he was still involved in a legal battle.

What happened to Bernard Tapie after he went to prison ?

After 1995, Bernard Tapie was personally bankrupt and therefore unable to pursue business ventures. He was also declared ineligible to run for political office and was banned from football. For several years, he then pursued artistic endeavors, acting in films and theatre for instance. 

In 2009, he went back to being a businessman but never made a true comeback to politics.

In 2017, Bernard Tapie announced he was suffering from stomach cancer. He received treatment but the disease spread and on October 3, 2021, Tapie died at home at the age of 78. On October 7, a chapel of rest was installed at the Velodrome stadium of Marseille and around 5000 people came to see his casket to pay their respects.

Does the Tapie family approve of the Netflix series?

Class Act was in the works before Bernard Tapie’s death and he did not approve of it. His wife and children also did not approve of the show and since its release, they have all expressed various degrees of discontentment about it.

Speaking to French radio Europe 1, Dominique Tapie, Bernard’s widow, said that everything depicted in the show regarding their private life is either false or approximate. For one, the show presents Dominique pretty much as Bernard’s right hand in his business affairs, which she never had anything to do with in real life.

Moreover, Class Act featured Bernard Tapie only having two children, named Stéphanie and Victor in the series. In reality, he had four children: two during his first marriage with Michèle Layec, named Nathalie and Stéphane, and two with his second wife Dominique, named Laurent and Sophie.

Is Class Act based on a true story?

Yes, but Class Act is a TV drama adaptation of the life of Bernard Tapie. While the events depicted in the show are based on publicly known facts, many of the situations, especially surrounding his private life, were fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

Where can I watch the Class Act mini-series?

All seven episodes of Class Act are available to stream on Netflix.

Marine Perot is a freelance entertainment writer living in London. She has been writing about television for 10 years, which led us to work with various publications including Paste Magazine, Radio Times, Konbini, Giddy, and more. Her favorite shows include  Lost ,  Outlander ,  Game of Thrones , and  The Haunting of Hill House . When not writing, Marine enjoys going on adventures with her corgi and reading a good book.

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The Tapie affair — a timeline

French businessman Bernard Tapie (C) talks to lawyers as he leaves a Paris courthouse on March 21

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Spanning more than two decades, the Tapie affair has entangled French establishment figures including IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

It began when French businessman Bernard Tapie sued the French bank Crédit Lyonnais over the sale of his stake in sports group Adidas, accusing the bank of defrauding him. When the state bank failed he ended up fighting the French state and won a huge settlement, raising questions about the government’s role.

This week French state prosecutors called for Orange telecoms boss Stéphane Richard to be sentenced to three years in jail — with half the time suspended — for his part in an alleged case of fraud and misuse of public funds involving Mr Tapie. They also demanded a five-year sentence for Mr Tapie himself.

Here are the key dates in the long-running saga.

A self-made millionaire

(L to R) Director of Olympique de Marseille Michel Hidalgo, president of the football club Bernard Tapie, and coach Gérard Banide during the 1987 European Cup Winners' Cup final at Stade Vélodrome

Tapie makes a fortune buying distressed companies, turning them around and selling them at a profit. He purchases struggling French football club Olympique de Marseille in 1986, becoming the team’s president and propelling them to their glory days, which see them win the European Cup in 1990.

Tapie wins a seat in the French parliament to represent Marseille under the socialist banner during François Mitterrand’s presidency.

Bernard Tapie watches the Adidas shoes in market of Plan de Cuques during the regional elections campaign on March 16, 1992. / AFP PHOTO / Georges GOBET (Photo credit should read GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Tapie expands his reach buying an 80 per cent stake in Germany’s Adidas, one of the world’s largest sporting goods manufacturers, promising to return the group to profitability. He finances the deal with loans and equity participation by banks and insurance companies, including Crédit Lyonnais.

Tapie accepts a position as a cabinet minister for urban affairs in Mitterrand’s government but his colourful business background raises eyebrows among politicians of the left.

A 26-year legal battle begins

Bernard Tapie leaving prison in Marseille

Facing debt repayment deadlines, Tapie asks his lender, the state-owned Crédit Lyonnais, to sell Adidas. He later challenges the sale, alleging that the bank sold the company at a depressed price, triggering a legal battle.

A court rules that Tapie’s holding company is unable to meet its other loans and Crédit Lyonnais seizes the remainder of his assets.

Tapie is declared bankrupt and later that year a court sentences him to eight months in jail over a football match-rigging scandal.

French government embroiled

Bernard Tapie backed Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election

The previously centre-left Tapie publicly backs the centre-right Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election.

After Sarkozy’s election victory, the government — which had intended to fight a legal battle with Tapie over the Adidas sale by the now defunct Crédit Lyonnais — instead sets up an independent arbitration panel to settle the case.

An independent arbitration panel rules Tapie should get €403m from the government in compensation. Finance minister Christine Lagarde defuses the ensuing outcry by insisting he will only pocket €30m-€50m once interest, tax and debts are deducted.

September 2010

Sarkozy’s government is embarrassed when it emerges that the Tapie damages settlement is much higher than it first claimed. Lagarde says the government had followed legal judgment and the sum included personal damages to the Tapie family.

August 2014

Lagarde, now head of the IMF, is placed under formal investigation by a French court on suspicion of negligence in connection with the settlement paid to Tapie when she was finance minister. Lagarde denies any improper role in the arbitration process, which she says was independent and in the best interests of taxpayers. Critics said the payout, backed by Ms Lagarde, was rigged to reward Tapie for backing Sarkozy’s election campaign.

The reckoning

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, on the opening day of her trial at the Palais de Justice in Paris, in December 2016

December 2015

A Paris appeal court rules that Tapie must pay back €403m he received from the French state. Judges rule that the businessman was not defrauded by Crédit Lyonnais, and therefore has to give back the compensation granted in 2008.

December 2016

Lagarde, by now reappointed as IMF chief, appears in a Paris court in connection with the Tapie settlement and is found guilty of negligence. Although she receives no punishment the court says she failed to prevent a €403m payout.

Tapie loses his final appeal as France’s Court of Cassation says he must repay the €403m.

Stephane Richard, chief executive of French telecoms group Orange, arrives at the Paris courthouse on April 1 2019

French state prosecutors call for Orange telecoms boss Stéphane Richard to be sentenced to three years in jail — with half the time suspended — for his part in the Tapie scandal. Mr Richard, was Lagarde’s chief of staff during the Tapie arbitration process. During the trial prosecutors demand a five-year sentence for Tapie himself.

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bernard tapie yacht

French tycoon Bernard Tapie dies aged 78: Scandal-hit Adidas billionaire and former government minister passes away after four year battle with stomach cancer

  • Tapie was born in Paris in 1943 and pulled himself out of a poor suburban childhood to become one of France's richest men
  • He led a particularly eclectic life which saw him occupy the roles of politician, business tycoon, football club president, singer, actor and television host
  • He is perhaps best known for owning sportswear giant Adidas in the 1990s and leading French football team Olympique Marseille to Champions League glory as club president
  • The later stages of his life were plagued by legal battles with the French state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais
  • He was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and later the oesophagus in 2017 

By Peter Allen for MailOnline and Wires

Published: 07:16 EDT, 3 October 2021 | Updated: 07:35 EDT, 3 October 2021

View comments

French football multibillionaire and former government minister Bernard Tapie has died at the age of 78, his family have announced.

The flamboyant tycoon, who helped turned Olympic Marseille into Champions of Europe, succumbed to stomach cancer on Sunday as he waited for a major fraud trial to begin.

Tapie, a father of four, was born in Paris in 1943 to a working class family and pulled himself out of a poor suburban childhood to become one of France 's richest men. 

President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to Tapie's family in a statement, saying he and his wife 'have been touched by the news of the death of Bernard Tapie, whose ambition, energy and enthusiasm were a source of inspiration for generations of French people'.  

A statement released by his family on Sunday afternoon said: 'Dominique Tapie and her children have the infinite sorrow of announcing the death of her husband and of their father, Bernard Tapie, this Sunday, October 3 at 8:40am, as a result of cancer.'

It adds: 'He left peacefully, surrounded by his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his brother, present at his bedside.'

The family said Mr Tapie 'expressed his wish to be buried in Marseille, the city of his heart'.

The flamboyant tycoon, who helped turned Olympic Marseille into Champions of Europe, succumbed to stomach cancer on Sunday aged 78, as he waited for a major fraud trial to begin

The flamboyant tycoon, who helped turned Olympic Marseille into Champions of Europe, succumbed to stomach cancer on Sunday aged 78, as he waited for a major fraud trial to begin

Tapie was at the helm when OM beat AC Milan 1-0 in the final of the Champions League and served as the club's charismatic president from 1986-1994

Tapie was at the helm when OM beat AC Milan 1-0 in the final of the Champions League and served as the club's charismatic president from 1986-1994

Tapie led a particularly eclectic life which saw him occupy the roles of politician, business tycoon, football club president, singer, actor and television host.

He served as a Socialist minister in France while also building up a sports and media empire, and was particularly well known for taking over failing companies in corporate raids, stripping them of their assets and selling them for vast profit.

Tapie made his fortune in the late 70s and 80s by acquiring bankrupt companies, and became one of the richest men in France before becoming personally bankrupt in the 90s.

Among the status symbols he spent millions on was Olympic Marseille where he was a charismatic club president from 1986 to 1994, and La Vie Claire cycling team which won two Tours de France in the 1980s.

On the back of that success, Tapie made his way into politics and was elected to the French parliament in 1989 and again in 1993. 

He then became a European Parliament deputy in 1994 after briefly serving as a government minister under President Francois Mitterrand.

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Tapie made his way into politics and was elected to the French parliament in 1989 and again in 1993 (pictured 1994)

Tapie made his way into politics and was elected to the French parliament in 1989 and again in 1993 (pictured 1994)

Tapie sentenced to prison in 1995 for corruption in a match-fixing scandal in the French first division in 1993 (pictured May 1995)

Tapie sentenced to prison in 1995 for corruption in a match-fixing scandal in the French first division in 1993 (pictured May 1995)

He also owned sportswear giant Adidas from 1990-1993, and was largely responsible for turning the company's fortunes around after Adidas was on the brink of bankruptcy at the start of the decade. 

His sale of Adidas signalled the start of years of complex judicial sagas he became embroiled in. 

Tapie was at the helm when OM beat AC Milan 1-0 in the final of the Champions League, but was later sent to prison in 1995 for corruption in a match-fixing scandal in the French first division, and also received criminal convictions for tax fraud and misuse of corporate assets after which he was bankrupt.

'Olympique de Marseille learned with deep sadness of the passing of Bernard Tapie. He will leave a great void in the hearts of the Marseillais and will forever remain in the legend of the club,' OM said in a statement. 

Marseille's fans display a banner in support of Bernard Tapie before the UEFA Europa League group E football match between Olympique de Marseille and Galatasaray AS at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille on September 30, just four days before his death

Marseille's fans display a banner in support of Bernard Tapie before the UEFA Europa League group E football match between Olympique de Marseille and Galatasaray AS at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille on September 30, just four days before his death

Tapie was born in Paris in 1943, the son of a plumber, and pulled himself out of a poor suburban childhood to become one of France's richest men

Tapie was born in Paris in 1943, the son of a plumber, and pulled himself out of a poor suburban childhood to become one of France's richest men

Following his release from prison in 1997, Tapie was ineligible to run for political office and instead embarked on a showbiz career and tried his hand at acting.

In 2000, he made his debut as a theatre actor and was received widely positive reviews for his portrayal of Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - a role made famous on the big screen by Jack Nicholson. 

Tapie went on to occupy numerous roles in theatre plays from 2001-2005, and also appeared in the well-known French TV series 'Valence' as a police chief.

Despite his days as a business tycoon being long gone, the latter stages of Tapie's life were still wrought with legal battles. 

Tapie, pictured in April 2019, looks on during a suspension of his trial for having defrauded the French state of nearly half a billion euros with a massive 2008 arbitration award

Tapie, pictured in April 2019, looks on during a suspension of his trial for having defrauded the French state of nearly half a billion euros with a massive 2008 arbitration award

His death came just six months after a burglary at his manor house in Combs-La-Ville, near Paris, in which Tapie was beaten and restrained with electric cords while burglars ransacked his home

His death came just six months after a burglary at his manor house in Combs-La-Ville, near Paris, in which Tapie was beaten and restrained with electric cords while burglars ransacked his home

Tapie's latest fraud trial was adjourned last year because of his cancer, and it was due to resume next May. 

It related to a marathon legal battle between Tapie and the state-owned Crédit Lyonnais bank, which first arose in the early 90s as a result of the bank's involvement in the sale of Adidas. 

Tapie was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2017, but his health deteriorated considerably in 2020 before his death this past weekend. 

His death came just six months after a burglary at his manor house in Combs-La-Ville, near Paris.

Mr Tapie was badly beaten up, and then electric cords were used to restrain him and his wife, 70-year-old Dominique Tapie.

'When you've won the Tour de France, the Champions League, you've been minister, singer, actor... what have I not done?' said Tapie in an interview with Le Monde in 2017.

'I can't say I haven't been spoiled rotten by life.'

Share or comment on this article: French tycoon Bernard Tapie dies aged 78

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IMAGES

  1. Vidéo : Le yacht de Bernard Tapie, baptisé le "Reborn", à Villefranche

    bernard tapie yacht

  2. Bernard Tapie loue son yacht à 570.000 euros

    bernard tapie yacht

  3. L'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie, le Phocéa, a sombré au large de la

    bernard tapie yacht

  4. L’ex-yacht de Bernard Tapie vendu 200 000

    bernard tapie yacht

  5. Bernard Tapie, l'histoire d'un record de l'Atlantique sur le yacht de

    bernard tapie yacht

  6. Vidéo. Le Phocéa, l'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie, a coulé au large de

    bernard tapie yacht

COMMENTS

  1. Bernard Tapie, the story of an Atlantic record on the luxury yacht Phocéa

    The businessman transformed it into a luxurious sailing yacht, but did not omit the sporting side of the boat, favoring the use of light materials. With a length of 74.37 m, the Phocéa is at the time, the largest yacht in the world, dethroned in 2004 by the Athena. Bernard Tapie's Phocéa Breaking the Atlantic record under sail in a monohull

  2. Yacht once owned by French tycoon sinks off Langkawi

    A multimillion-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie has sunk off the coast of Langkawi, an official confirmed Sunday (Feb 2...

  3. Voici l'histoire du Phocéa, l'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie qui a coulé

    Bernard Tapie évoque la fin du Phocéa, voilier dont il fut propriétaire et qui vient de couler au large des côtes de Malaisie après avoir pris feu. Le navire, taillé pour la course au large ...

  4. Bernard Tapie's Phocéa, exceptional sailboat 1976-2021

    In 1982, businessman Bernard Tapie bought Club Méditerranée and Alain-Colas-Tahiti SA from Teura Colas, which he made a subsidiary of his group. He repatriates the wreckage of the boat to Marseilles from Tahiti where he has it completely restored and transformed into a luxury yacht, while retaining its sporting spirit.

  5. Bernard Tapie: French tycoon, politician, actor and rogue

    Larger-than-life French business mogul Bernard Tapie, who died on Sunday aged 78, was a symbol of the best and worst of high-rolling free market capitalism. ... yacht. Bernard Tapie broke French ...

  6. Controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie dies age 78

    Controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie dies age 78. ... including buying a 72-metre yacht and a football club, Olympique de Marseille, which won the French championship under his ownership. ...

  7. Yacht once owned by French tycoon sinks off Malaysia

    A multimillion-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie has sunk off the coast of Malaysia, an official confirmed Sunday, after it caught fire a few days ago.

  8. The Rise and Fall of Bernard Tapie's Marseille: Part 3: Nuits Blanches

    The plan was relayed over to Goethals, general manager Jean-Pierre Bernès, and a group of players who were on the yacht, such as Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly. "All the players knew that this match was going to be arranged, but it was Tapie who asked Eydelie if he could contact the Valenciennes players," later recalled Bernès.

  9. Fire hits yacht that belonged to French tycoon off Malaysia

    A multi-million-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie went up in flames off Malaysia Thursday, with firefighters battling for hours to put out the blaze.

  10. Yacht once owned by French tycoon Bernard Tapie sinks off Malaysia a

    A multimillion-dollar sailing yacht once owned by French tycoon Bernard Tapie sank off the coast of Malaysia a day after it caught fire, officials said. Named the Phocea, the 75-metre-long (246…

  11. Bernard Tapie, French magnate trailed by scandal in business and soccer

    Mr. Tapie used the proceeds to buy one of the world's largest sailing yachts called the Phocea, finance a cycling team that won two consecutive Tour de France titles, and acquire a lackluster ...

  12. Yacht once owned by French tycoon Bernard Tapie sinks off Malaysia

    Feb 21, 2021, 02:52 PM. KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A multimillion-dollar sailing yacht that once belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie has sunk off the coast of Malaysia, an official confirmed on ...

  13. BOADICEA Yacht • Gabriele Volpi $50 Million Superyacht

    Bernard Tapie and the Rebirth of the Yacht. The year 2009 marked a significant milestone in the yacht's history when it was purchased by French billionaire Bernard Tapie, who rechristened it as Reborn. Seven years later, in 2016, the yacht was sold once more, reclaiming her original name, Boadicea.

  14. Phocea (yacht)

    Phocea at anchor. Phocea was a sailing yacht that was built at Toulon, France, by DCAN in 1976. She is 246 feet long (75 meters) and can cruise at 12 knots. Like many yachts, she has undergone a number of refits, a major one having been in 2000 in Germany. She can handle 12 guests supported by a crew of 16 sailors. Phocea is a schooner with four masts. ...

  15. Splendeur et misères du "Phocéa", le bateau mythique de Bernard Tapie

    Le Phocéa, l'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie, a coulé au large de la Malaisie. Le voilier, qui a fait rêver tant de marins, a sombré au large de la Malaisie le 19 février dernier. Construit en ...

  16. Fire hits yacht that belonged to French tycoon Bernard Tapie off

    The four-masted yacht was built for renowned French sailor Alain Colas in 1976 and was owned by Tapie in the 1980s and 90s. It was later sold to a wealthy Lebanese woman for 36.5 million francs (7 ...

  17. Bernard Tapie

    Bernard Roger Tapie (French: [bɛʁnaʁ ʁɔʒe tapi]; 26 January 1943 - 3 October 2021) was a French businessman, politician and occasional actor, singer, and TV host. He was Minister of City Affairs in the government of Pierre Bérégovoy .

  18. Class Act: Is it a true story? Who was Bernard Tapie?

    Bernard Tapie had to face Justice many times throughout his life and was even condemned to prison several times, although the only time he was actually incarcerated was following the corruption scandal around the Olympique de Marseille football club. He was accused of fixing the match between his club and minor club Valenciennes and was ...

  19. Bernard Tapie, businessman who brought success to the Olympique

    Bernard Tapie, who has died 78, was a charismatic French financier and scandal-ridden business tycoon who at various times had been a pop singer, television star, actor, racing driver, yachtsman ...

  20. The Tapie affair

    Tapie is declared bankrupt and later that year a court sentences him to eight months in jail over a football match-rigging scandal. French government embroiled Bernard Tapie backed Nicolas Sarkozy ...

  21. Le Phocéa, l'ancien yacht de Bernard Tapie, a coulé en Malaisie

    Les dommages dans la coque dus aux flammes étaient trop importants pour le voilier.-----Abonnez-vous à la chaîne YouTube du HuffPost dès maintenant : https:/...

  22. French tycoon Bernard Tapie dies aged 78

    French football multibillionaire and former government minister Bernard Tapie has died at the age of 78, his family have announced. ... Ship Ahoy! Danish royals embark on a yacht tour to Sweden ...