Actress says cinema idol stepfather abused her
THE posthumous reputation of Yves Montand, one of France's greatest 20th-century actor-singers, suffered a fresh beating yesterday with claims by his stepdaughter that he sexually abused her as a small child and assaulted her well into adulthood.
The account in a book by Catherine Allegret (58), an actress, shed light on the dark side of life in the Montand household after the Italian-born idol married Simone Signoret in 1950.
Montand is best remembered in Britain as the mean Provencal peasant farmer in the films 'Jean de Florette' and 'Manon des Sources'.
Ms Allegret's book, 'Un Monde a L'envers' (A World Upside Down), gives a graphic account of an alleged assault on her by Montand when she was taking a bath at the age of 5.
The book, which is published next week, is in response to a book last spring by Benjamin Castaldi, her son, who is the popular presenter of television shows such as France's version of 'Big Brother'.
He triggered controversy in May with a single sentence in his book that said: "Montand did not always always behave towards [Allegret] as a stepfather should." (© The Times, London)