Michelin heir launches legal claim to fortune
Published 11/01/2010 | 05:00
A 42-year-old Frenchman has launched a legal claim to recognise him as a rightful heir to the Michelin family and its vast tyre, map and food-guide fortune.
Jean-Philippe Rouchon, an osteopath, claims to be a direct descendant of one of Michelin's two founding brothers and deserves a cut of the Michelin fortune, estimated at almost €1.1bn.
Mr Rouchon claims his father is Patrice Michelin, the grandson of Andre, who founded the firm with his brother Edouard in 1888.
He has provided the court with a blood test from 1969, a document proving that his alleged father provided his mother with subsistence, and a letter Mr Michelin sent his lawyer saying he had "given" Mr Rouchon's mother a "superb baby".
The correspondence between Patrice and the claimant's mother, Annick, also shed light on another dark secret. In 1960, Patrice Michelin was arrested after shooting his second wife dead while out hunting. He was found not guilty of murder. However, in a letter to Annick, he said: "A hunting trip delivered me. I made a gesture, the bullet went through the neck and out of the forehead." (© The Daily Telegraph, London)