You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cantat sentenced to eight years

Singer convicted of homicide in thesp Trintignant's death

PARIS — French rocker Bertrand Cantat was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison by a Lithuanian court for beating to death his girlfriend, French thesp Marie Trintignant, during an argument.

Trintignant, 41, died last August from a cerebral edema brought on by head injuries inflicted during a jealousy argument between the two. Cantat, 40, admitted to having violently struck Trintignant four times during the drug- and alcohol-fueled row in a hotel room in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. The actress was filming a movie about the life of Colette, helmed by her mother, Nadine Trintignant.

Voluntary homicide

Cantat, who has been in a Lithuanian jail since last July, was convicted of voluntary homicide, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, despite last-minute efforts on the part of the defense to commute the sentence to “involuntary homicide by imprudence.”

The judge, however, said Monday in rendering the verdict that “the accused foresaw the consequences of his acts including death. He didn’t desire those consequences, but they occurred.”

The singer has 20 days to appeal the sentence, which the defense said is likely. After the appeals process is complete and assuming he still must do time, Cantat can ask to serve his term in France rather than Lithuania. It is up to Lithuanian authorities to decide, but in most situations between two friendly governments, the prisoner will be handed over to his birth country.

Nation mourned

The death of Trintignant, who comes from one of Gaul’s most recognized film families and who played in more than 50 films, stunned the country and set off a maelstrom of media coverage, with talkshows and roundtable discussions on every aspect of the case, from domestic abuse to the legitimacy of the legal defense of murder as a crime of passion.

Trintignant’s funeral was attended by such notables as Catherine Deneuve, former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and singer-actress Jane Birkin.

Cantat, the lead singer of the famous French rock band Noir Desir, was no less shocking for his role in the thesp’s death due to his image as a pacifist and his public support of various humanitarian causes.

Passion play

From the outset, lawyers for Cantat portrayed the death as a crime of passion, which is a legitimate defense in Lithuania and which carries a lighter sentence.

Move sparked a debate in France — which no longer recognizes passion as a defense — that could be heard from corner cafes to the halls of the country’s judicial palaces.

Trintignant was the mother of four children including two by helmer Samuel Benchetrit, one by the drummer with the rock band Telephone, and one with thesp Francois Cluzet.

More Music

  • Ariana GrandeBillboard's 13th Annual Women in

    Ariana Grande Announces Tracklist for 'Thank U, Next'

    Ariana Grande has provided material for a thousand memes with the release of the tracklist for her fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next.” According to an Instagram post, the tracklist for the upcoming album, to be released February 8, is as follows: Imagine Needy NASA Bloodline Fake Smile Bad Idea Make Up Ghostin In My [...]

  • DJ Snake Ozuna Selena Gomez Cardi

    Hitmaker of the Month: How Geffen's Neil Jacobson Took 'Taki Taki' to the Finish Line

    DJ Snake’s bilingual banger, “Taki, Taki,” is the latest reggaeton track to become a bona fide pop hit thanks to an alignment of stars (Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B) and the guidance of Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson. “There’s somewhat of an inexact science to making collaborative records like this,” says Jacobson, the veteran A&R [...]

  • Chris Brown rape allegation

    Chris Brown Released From Custody With No Charges Filed

    Chris Brown has been released from custody in Paris with no charges filed after being detained on rape accusations, a rep for the singer tells Variety, citing an Associated Press report. Brown and two other people, who were not identified but reports said were Brown’s bodyguard and a friend, were released at around 10 p.m. [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Gustavo Dudamel Walk of Fame Honor

    Gustavo Dudamel, Hollywood Bowl’s Biggest Star, Gets One of His Own Down the Hill

    Perusing conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s recent and upcoming schedule is enough to make anyone feel like a serious underperformer. In the past 12 months, Dudamel has guided the Los Angeles Philharmonic through half of its 100th season; made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York; started an ongoing lecture/seminar series at Princeton University; toured [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content