PARIS (CelebrityAccess) Bertrand Cantat, a French rock musician who served time for beating his actress girlfriend to death 15 years ago, has announced he is withdrawing from French festival appearances amid protest.
“To put an end to all the polémiques and to stop the pressure on the organizers, I decided to withdraw our project from all summer festivals,” Cantat said in a Facebook post.
Cantat was sentenced to eight years for killing Marie Trintigant in a hotel room in Lithuania in 2003 but was released after four years. At the time he was the lead singer of Noir Desir, one of France’s most successful rock bands. The “Jim Morrison of French music” released a solo album in 2013, three years after his wife, Kristina Rady, hanged herself. They had separated when Cantat began his affair with Trintigant. Rady said “a series of events worse than those of 2003” was taking place.
A petition signed by nearly 75,000 called for Normandy’s Papillons de Nuit festval to remove Cantat from its lineup, according to the BBC.
“By inviting Bertrand Cantat, you trivialize domestic violence and violence against women,” the petition read. Meanwhile, the victim’s mother, Nadine Trintignant, told French television that she found it “shameful, indecent, disgusting that he would go onstage.”
“He did not pay anything at all,” she said, according to the BBC. “He should have served 20 years… Everyone seems to have forgotten the number of blows Marie received.”
Cantat’s statement said he never sought to detract from the consequences of his actions.
“Once again, I express my most sincere, profound and total compassion to Marie and her family,” he said. “I have served my sentence. I did not benefit from any privileges. I wish today, just like any citizen, for the right to reinsertion. The right to exercise my profession.”
The cancellation comes as 1,500 took to the streets of Paris to protest male violence on International Women’s Day.
French magazine Les Inrockuptibles put Cantat on its cover in October and faced a similar backlash.