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Controversial French Tycoon, Wife Attacked in Their Home

4 men stole watches, jewelry
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 2:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bernard Tapie, the "flamboyant and controversial" former owner of Adidas, as the BBC puts it, was attacked at his estate near Paris along with his wife. Tapie, 78, and wife Dominique, 70, were asleep when four men broke in during the wee hours of Sunday. They assaulted the couple and tied them up with electrical cords, then stole jewelry and watches, including a Rolex, from the home. Tapie has spent time behind bars and been involved in various scandals involving corruption, fraud, and even football match-fixing; in addition to his business ventures, he had a brief stint as a government minister in his native France and has been involved in the media, entertainment, and sports.

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The mayor says the suspects demanded to know where the "treasure" was, then got angry and more violent when they found no treasure. Tapie was hit over the head with a club, but refused to go to the hospital. His wife, who was hit in the face and pulled by the hair, managed to escape her bindings and call police from a neighbor's house, France24 reports. She was taken to a hospital but expected to be released quickly. Tapie's longest-running controversy involves a $425 million settlement he was awarded after selling his stake in Adidas in 2008; he accused the French state bank Crédit Lyonnais of undervaluing the company and sued, leading to the millions in damages, but a court later found he had not been defrauded and ordered him to repay the money. He has not; a trial on the matter was postponed to later this year due to his health issues. (Read more Bernard Tapie stories.)

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