Tome tells tales of Viv vexation
PARIS — Gallic media folk are itching to get their hands on Jean-Marie Messier’s “My True Diary,” which hits French bookstands Thursday.In the explosive tome, the former Vivendi Universal topper claims his ouster was a foul plot masterminded by a cabal of Gallic industry “grandads” led by Viv U board member Claude Bebear. But Messier also concedes he made vital mistakes. These include not cutting the company’s ties with Vivendi Environment — and waiting too long to sack Canal Plus topper Pierre Lescure, whose “incapacity to organize Canal Plus was patent,” according to the book. Messier also uses the book to warn former cohorts like chief financial officer Guillaume Hannezo against shopping him to investigators in the probe into Viv U’s finances. Despite a rash of books about l’Affaire Messier, this one — from the horse’s mouth — has aroused the most excitement in Gaul. Book was co-written by Yves Messarovitch, a journalist at Le Figaro. Le Monde, the newspaper most hated by Messier, got its hands on an early copy and was the first to splash the story on the front page of its Monday edition. The weekly L’Express, a sister publication of Le Figaro, will run the juiciest bits Thursday, while pubcaster France 2 has reserved a slot for Messier on its evening newscast that day. Hachette Literature, which published Messier’s first book “J6.com: Who’s Afraid of the New Economy” in 2000, was due to release his latest memoirs, but pulled the plug on the tome. Indie publisher Balland stepped into the breach. There are no plans as yet to publish the book in the U.S.