The ex-mistress of a French Champagne magnet has been convicted of harassment that included chasing him with a knife and threatening to cut off his penis.
Samira L, 48, was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for chasing Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, whose family are producers of the famous Champagne brand by the same name, outside the family’s estate in Rheims.
As well as making death threats and harassing him, the 70-year-old’s former mistress was also found to have harassed his wife Claire, their daughter Vitalie – who currently heads up the business – and another alleged mistress, The Times reports.
But Pierre-Emmanuel’s victory in court was a bittersweet one. Samira L, an accountant, used the trial to make lurid allegations about their sex life that will sour what was meant to be a happy retirement for him and his wife.
Taittinger first went to the police in 2017 to report a three-year campaign of harassment by his former mistress. The pair had struck up a relationship in 2011, which ended in 2014, much to the dismay of Samira L.
Samira L, 48, was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for chasing Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger (pictured with his wife Claire), whose family are producers of the famous Champagne brand
The court heard that after Taittinger made the complaint to the police about her behaviour, Samira L bombarded the businessman with text messages threatening to emasculate and kill him, before taking a train to the family home to confront him.
There, she pulled out a knife and chased him down the middle of the street.
In a text afterwards, she told him: ‘If I had running shoes on, I would have caught you and I would have murdered you,’ according to The Times.
This was the culmination of three years of troubling behaviour, the Paris court was told. The woman admitted that she hounded Taittinger because she felt abused and manipulated when he broke off their affair.
He had kept her in a flat in Paris, and even agreed to pay her €2,470 monthly rent for four years in an attempt to calm her anger.
She also accused him of forcing her into a life of champagne drinking while taking her with him on visits to Paris’s libertine sex clubs.
In court, Samira L said he would choose outfits for her, ‘as well as the make-up and hair removal’ and claimed he ‘chose the men I had to have sex with’.
She also claimed she had been raped at the clubs. The managers said the recieved no such complaints from her, The Times reported.
In an attempt to ruin Taittinger’s reputation, the court heard she also tried to spread baseless claims of paedophilia and pimping.
Samira L chased Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger with a knife and threatened to cut off his penis at the Champagne magnet’s family estate (pictured), the court heard
Taittinger – grandson of Pierre Taittinger, the founder of the Champagne company, has long had a reputation for being somewhat of an eccentric.
In 2021, Le Monde described him as an ‘an exuberant playboy’.
In an interview with the Irish Times in 2016, he said: ‘I am paid to drink, I am paid to eat and make love sometimes, and drink wonderful champagne sometimes.’
‘Champagne is not only a wine, it is a symbol of happiness, a symbol of delicacy, of elegance,’ he said at the time. He once compared sparkling wine to Viagra.
On its website, the Taittinger company describes the man as ‘an aesthete, a hedonist and a humanist, at the same time a dreamer and a determined man’.
In 2016, he even took a brief run at the French presidency, but dropped out of the running after two days, citing ‘a serious personal event’.
As well as making death threats and harassing him, the 70-year-old’s former mistress was also found to have harassed his wife Claire, their daughter Vitalie (pictured) – who currently heads up the business – and another alleged mistress, The Times reports
Speaking to France’s Le Parisien newspaper, Samira L’s lawyer said Taittinger had exerted toxic control over his client.
‘There was not a loving man on one side and a manipulating woman on the other. Her existence was devoted to Taittinger… He controlled her whole life.’ Tom Michel said. ‘She felt that she had been sullied. She wanted to do the same back to him.’
Nicolas Hubsch, Taittinger’s lawyer, said the judges presiding over the case had clearly not bought any of Samira L’s accusations.
‘None of this lady’s claims have led to prosecution,’ he told L’Union. ‘This lady has used slander to damage my client, to intimidate him and put him under pressure.
‘She continued to use slander to defend herself but the court was not fooled: it handed down a sentence twice that requested by the prosecution.
‘This is a clear sign of what the judges thought of her defense,’ he added.
He added that the six-year affair had ‘profoundly affected my client morally and psychologically’ in which Taittinger was ‘stupidly in love’ with his mistress.
A psychiatrist’s report delivered to the court said Samira L had a ‘histrionic personality’, a disorder defined by exaggerated emotionality.
Taittinger also heads up its Evremond brand, a Franco-British sparkling wine vineyard in Kent
The Taittinger Champagne company was sold in 2005 to Starwood Capital – an American investment firm – causing deep divisions on the family, but Pierre-Emmanuel bought the company back a year later for €746 million.
After handing the reins to his daughter in 2020, he is now honorary chairman of the company. He also heads up its Evremond brand, a Franco-British sparkling wine vineyard in Kent.
In the interview with the Irish Times, he said that his retirement would be a day of mixed emotions.
‘I will be sad because I love my work… but I’m already preparing. It will be a beautiful day. They will offer me two little dogs because I want to take care of two dogs. The conversation will be superb. I will have no mistress anymore. My wife will be happy.’
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.