Hurt to see his only wife Janet Woollacott leave in the arms of Gilbert Bécaud, Claude François made the latter his main rival. A few years later, he got his revenge by naming the dancer and singer’s daughter after him, as revealed in the documentary Secret Archivesbroadcast this Friday, September 9 on France 3.
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. In 1964, Claude François experienced one of his greatest love disappointments. His wife Janet Woollacott left him for Gilbert Bécaud. Several years later, the performer of the title As per usual could take his revengeas the documentary revealed Secret archives: the time of lovebroadcast this Friday, September 9 on France 3. While leading a double life with his wife Monique Nicolas and Janet Woollacott, Gilbert Bécaud learned of their respective pregnancies. Faced with such an announcement, the singer decided to stay with his wife. This is how the British dancer returned to London to give birth to baby girl Jennifer KayJune 3, 1967. If Gilbert Bécaud preferred to favor his official family, Claude François took the opportunity to put the second act of his rivalry. “He takes advantage of this artistic blur to recognize me, before dad. I know, it’s funny”, Jennifer Kay revealed with a laugh over the documentary. And to add: “In any case, I carried his name for six years. I have the ‘Jennifer François’ passport”.
For the daughter of Gilbert Bécaud and Janet Woollacoot, there is no doubt. Claude François’ approach was “a kind of little revenge.” “He thought he didn’t recognize me as a baby so he thought, ‘I’m going to do it'”, she said. And to add: “I understand Claude very well, honestly. He always said to dad: ‘You stole my wife, I don’t love you’. I think we’re on a little cockfight.” If it only lasted a while, Jennifer Kay still can’t understand her mother’s decision. “I think she was a little lost at that time. Afterwards, she recovered very quickly and I called myself Woollacoot.” Gilbert Bécaud ended up recognizing his daughter at the age of 25.
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Claude François: his deep resentment towards Gilbert Bécaud
Whether in private life or on television sets, Claude François has never hidden his animosity towards Gilbert Bécaud. In 1974, the yé-yé years icon invited the latter during a Carpentier show. Very quickly, a musical score settling took place on stage. While Claude François showed him his talents as a drummer, Gilbert Bécaud did not wait another second to throw him a little pike. “It’s a backing track”, he said before bursting out laughing. And when the two artists started the song Loneliness does not exist, the father of Marc and Claude François Junior had fun at imitate the Toulon accent of his rival. And Gilbert Bécaud quickly counter-attacked. He did not hesitate to imitate the Claudette dance steps on the title There is spring singing. A war of egos which did not go unnoticed by viewers. “They made an exchange of good deeds. They made Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier but no one thought me. And that’s okay”concluded Jennifer Kay.
Photo credits: Agency / Bestimage
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Claude François: this day when he recognized the daughter of his ex-wife and Gilbert Bécaud – Gala
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