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Gold Digging French Pop Princess Denied Her Older Toothless 'Mountain Man' Husband’s Fortune

Gold Digging French Pop Princess Denied Her Older Toothless 'Mountain Man' Husband’s Fortune

Feel the burn on this one.



It's a classic story - rich old man with no teeth meets ambitious business woman a whopping 21 years younger, marries her, and dies in a mysterious car crash. Ok, perhaps classic but with quite a lot more context added to it. The 43-year-old grieving widow, Sandrine Devillard, thought she would inherit her husband Marchel Amphoux's millions, but when a will contesting that was found, it turned into one of the bitterest court battles in recent years in France.

And she's just lost!

68 year old Marchel Amphoux was hardly what you'd call a catch, despite owning a lot of property. A hermit and dwelling in a shack, he nonetheless caught the eye of Parisian Sandrine Devillard, a business woman, and pop singer.

And her insistence that she loved Marchel went so far as her releasing this single. Are you ready to see something you can never unsee? It's pretty bizarre...

Credit: Red Out Black

This terrifyingly autotuned song sees our plucky heroine emerge from a beat-up old shack wearing a shiny kimono, ominously following around a man all in black with his face covered. Her French manicured hand reaches out for his hand and she smooches his barely visible face.

It's not a particularity convincing music video, if I'm being honest.

The couple are said to have met when Sandrine tried to buy his five Alpine shepherds' huts. She has four businesses and one is an estate agency. Located near to the ski resort of Serre-Chevalier, it's prime real estate and said to be worth millions. When the eccentric 'mountain man' refused to sell, Sandrine asked him out for a date instead.

Heathcliff, it's me it's Cathy I've come home now? Credit: Credit: Red Out Black

Their courtship is said to have consisted of dates in his shack, drinking cold soup and wine. Marchel was an eccentric, and lived without electricity or running water.

His friends in the local village in France were horrified, sure that Sandrine was only after Marchel for his property and money. It seemed an unlikely match. She was a glam Parisian, loved designer dresses and was 21 years his junior while he was rustic, old fashioned and lived a basic life.

The villagers were so against the match that at Marchel and Sandrine's wedding in September 2011, they booed and jeered through the unlikely couple's ceremony. Sandrine chose not to live in the Alpine hut - what a surprise - but returned to Paris.

"Marcel is a man from the Middle Ages, even prehistoric times," said Sandrine after their wedding. "I am a true Parisian. I still live there. But I visit my husband as often as I can." The rumours that she was only after his money persisted, so much so she decided to make that wonderful single you heard earlier.

Touching. Credit: Red Out Black

In November 2012, Marcel had died in a car crash involving not one, but two of his wife's friends. They both survived the accident, but the driver was accused of manslaughter before being cleared.

Sandrine immediately announced herself as her husband's sole heir and told all her tenants they would be evicted soon and then proceeded to try and throw herself into his grave.

Totes normal grieving behaviour.

Credit: Red Out Black

It seems no one was convinced that she actually married for love - even the priest conducting Marchel's funeral spoke about "manipulation" and said the well-loved member of the community had been treated like a "spreadsheet".

It looked like she had got what she had always wanted - his valuable property, but, turns out, he wrote a will - on the back of an envelope - just weeks before his death! Who knew that scribbling away on an envelope would hold up in court? He left the shepherds' huts which are worth hundreds of thousands of euros to his tenants, and the rest of his estate to a female cousin - and nothing to her. Take some of that!

She hadn't realised her hubby had made a will and claimed that the writing on the yellowing envelope didn't belong to her late husband, but his signature was verified. Furious, she went to court, claiming she was the victim of abuse of trust, forgery and attempted extortion.

But the court has rejected all her claims - she's lost!

At least she has a pop career to fall back on!

Words Laura Hamilton

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