Bernard Tapie, a French businessman and former minister, has died aged 78, his family announced on Sunday.
Tapie became a household name in France as the owner of the Olympique de Marseille football club, a cycling team and sportswear company Adidas, as a minister in President François Mitterrand’s government and a member of the European Parliament — as well as an actor, singer and newspaper owner.
But his career was also marred by controversy. He was sentenced to prison for match-fixing while he was in charge of the Olympique de Marseille. After selling Adidas, he got embroiled in a long string of probes, which also saw former Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, now the president of the European Central Bank, found guilty of negligence.
The verdict in Tapie’s latest trial was due next week.
Tapie had been suffering from cancer of the stomach and esophagus.
In a reaction, French President Emmanule Macron described Tapie as a man with “a thousand lives,” adding that his “ambition, energy and enthusiasm were a source of inspiration for generations of French people.”
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