The Guerlain family has been torn apart for more than fifteen years.
Christina Kragh Michelsen, the companion of Jean-Paul Guerlain, former director of the eponymous perfumery, is accused by the son of the famous French nose, Stéphane Guerlain, of "neglect of a person unable to protect himself".
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This 62-year-old Franco-Danish was to appear this Monday, September 20, in the afternoon, before the Versailles Criminal Court, at the request of the prosecution.
The public prosecutor launched an investigation after an employee of the estate filed a complaint for "harassment".
The concubine of Jean-Paul Guerlain accuses in return the employees of the espionage property and the son of “moral harassment”, “willful violence”, “threats” and “insults”.
"It's convenient to be called Madame Guerlain"
It's a fight at loggerheads that has been going on for years among the Guerlains. Affected by a form of Alzheimer's, Jean-Paul Guerlain is at the heart of a quarrel between his son and his partner. It all started in 2005, when Jean-Paul Guerlain met Christina Kragh Michelsen at a horse racing event. They share the same passion for horses, and Christina Kragh asks the perfumer if she can install her equines at his place, in Yvelines, in Les Mesnuls. Seduced by this tall blonde with a British accent, Jean-Paul Guerlain readily accepts. Chistina Kragh will never leave “La Vallée”, the home of Guerlain. She moved into an outbuilding of the house, opposite the patriarch's apartments. Very quickly, a couple is formed, and wedding plans are born: in 2007,Chistina Kragh expresses her desire to marry Jean-Paul Guerlain. But she met a categorical refusal on the part of the Guerlain son. The reason? "
It's convenient to be called Madame Guerlain.
It opens doors.
Monsieur Guerlain was a ladies' man.
It's the last one, that's all.
That does not make it a Madame Guerlain,
"slips a source close to the case, affirming that the person concerned"
never wanted to get married
"and that Christina Kragh"
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In 2010, Jean-Paul Guerlain went through a difficult period. He is accused of having uttered "racial slurs", after having said that he had "
worked like a nigger
" to create the Samsara perfume. "
He was alone, in difficulty, and Christina Kragh took the opportunity to set foot in the door
", summarizes with Le
Me Pascal Koerfer, the tutor's lawyer. And his concubine is more and more enterprising. In 2012, when Jean-Paul Guerlain had just been fined 6,000 euros for “racial insult”, Christina Kragh visited, incognito, a renowned gallery owner. She offers him a work by Delacroix. As a shrewd gallery owner, the expert recognizes a work belonging to Jean-Paul Guerlain and immediately warns his son, Stéphane Guerlain, himself a lawyer specializing in ... intellectual property.
The blood of the perfumer's only son only turns: he suspects his father's concubine of wanting to take over his heritage. In March 2013, the guardianship judge granted Stéphane Guerlain, then in his sixties, the status of curator and then, in January 2018, that of guardian. From that day, Christina Kragh will launch nearly eight procedures to demand a change of guardian with, as justification, the opposition of the son to his marriage to Jean-Paul Guerlain. "
She pleaded for a marriage with separation of property,
her lawyer, Me Frédéric Bélot, to
It is an obligation for the persons under guardianship
", sweeps aside Me Koerfer, who emphasizes that Christina Kragh "
asked for an extra-patrimonial title to request a change of supervision
”and thus appropriate the property of Jean-Paul Guerlain.
For lack of anything better, Christina Kragh will therefore "make
life hard for the people in the field, to make them leave and, thus, isolate Mr. Guerlain,
" says a source familiar with the matter. She accuses them of spying on her private life and of reporting everything to Stéphane Guerlain, exaggerating his lifestyle. One by one, the “
” at the service of “La Vallée” for more than 40 years disappear, weary, faced with a battle lost in advance against the new hostess. First the driver. Then the cook. Then the secretary. And finally the maid. “
She had only one idea in mind: to get married then place Mr. Guerlain in an nursing home and sell the property
», Explains an employee, who has since left. The house is abandoned and Jean-Paul Guerlain is more and more alone. Christina Kragh, she tries to meet the needs of the couple by offering "
to Chinese people to visit the home of the great perfumer
", explains Me Koefer. "
It must be said that Stéphane Guerlain only gives the couple 120 euros per month to meet their needs
", underlines Me Bélot. However, Christina Kragh multiplies the social evenings, invites the world. Jean-Paul Guerlain is not invited.
In 2020, a marriage file is submitted to the town hall of Mesnuls. The son insists: his father does not want this marriage, "
he is constantly under pressure
". During a hearing at the Versailles Court of Appeal in 2020, the president asks Jean-Paul Guerlain directly. "
Do you want to marry Monsieur Guerlain?"
". To which the interested party replies that "
yes, I want to get married
". The president continues: "
How old are you, Mr. Guerlain?"
The answer leaves the audience speechless: "
I want to get married!"
"The president tries one last time:"
what is the weather like today, Monsieur Guerlain?
I want to get married
The son then presents a letter, signed by his father's hand, in which it is written: "
I reiterate that I do not wish to marry Christina Kragh
There will be no marriage.
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The house no longer having any employees to take care of his father, the son hires a life assistant working for the Senior Assistance agency. But, after a few months at the estate, the latter is at the end of her tether: Christina Kragh constantly criticizes her cooking, "
sometimes too fatty, sometimes too sweet
prevents her from doing her job
" and tells her regularly that she "
Did not know the Arabs were clean
". The assistant files a complaint for “harassment” and an investigation is opened by the Versailles prosecutor's office, which is concerned about the state of health of Jean-Paul Guerlain. The defense questions the state of decrepitude of the perfumer's home, "
which is not maintained by his son
there are gutters everywhere, water leaks in the cellar, no television or Internet, the fridge still empty, trees are growing in one of the houses, the horses live in their excrement, the mattresses in the bedrooms friends have been kidnapped, bidets torn off, hot water and heating cut off,
”develops Me Bélot, who assures us that the estate is“
”. Facing the wall, Christina Kragh decides to file a direct summons in court for “insults”, “death threats” and “willful violence”.
My client has been accompanying her for many years, she is innocent,
” assures Me Bélot. "
Stéphane Guerlain promised his father that he would do everything so that he could end his days at 'La Vallée' with dignity,
" replied Me Koefer. After more than ten years of legal battle, neither of them is ready to let go. The fact remains that, today, the two parties are at least in agreement on one observation, summarized as follows by Me Bélot: "
it's terrible to end your life like that when you have been at the top and you represent a monument. French.