“I am everything for him: his wife, his confidante, his personal assistant, his friend”, confided this summer Laeticia Hallyday who, in 21 years of marriage, went from the status of shy young wife to rock indispensable for the singer, in his last fight against cancer.
It is the 42-year-old woman who announced in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday the death of the rock icon in a moving statement.
“My man is no longer, he is leaving us tonight as he has lived throughout his life, with courage and dignity”, writes the one who has continued to give news of her husband via the social networks they months, uploading pictures of their family life, with their daughters, Jade and Joy.
“It’s not nothing to be next to Johnny in the worst moments … A big hat to this lady,” greeted Wednesday morning director Claude Lelouch while Line Renaud recalled how Laeticia, “in love as in the first day, “supported her husband in illness.
Yet when the singer, married four times and subscribed to love affairs, meets Laeticia in 1995 in a nightclub in Miami, few people give dearly to their union.
The young woman, unknown to the general public, is a model with juvenile physique and blond curls, daughter of Johnny’s friend, André Boudou.
“When I met him, he was missing a lot of love, he was alone,” she tells Paris Match, the day of her wedding, evoking an immediate “love at first sight” with the rock star.
The nuptials are celebrated one year to the day after their meeting, on March 25, 1996, by Nicolas Sarkozy, Mayor of Neuilly, in the presence of Jean-Claude Camus, the historical producer of Johnny, journalist Guillaume Durand (witness of the groom) and couturier Jean-Claude Jitrois, who dresses the young wife.
– ‘Warrior’ –
For two decades, the couple will delight the press people, who follows them and grape shots in Switzerland, the United States and the West Indies.
In private, Johnny and Laeticia know their lot of difficulties: fight against drugs for him, against anorexia for her, as well as infidelities.
They try to have a child, but Laeticia will multiply the miscarriages. They will end up adopting two little girls in Vietnam, Jade (November 2004) and Joy (December 2008).
At first erased, the young woman will gradually move, opting for a sexier style than at the beginning, imposing his artistic tastes and become essential in the communication of Johnny.
This evolution is not without pain and will strike historical collaborators of the rock star, whose producer Jean-Claude Camus and the photographer Daniel Angeli, put on the sidelines for the benefit of a younger team.
In 2011, Johnny stepped up to denounce a rumor presenting Laeticia as “+ the Iron Lady +, the regent” of a system trying to rehabilitate his image with a new album made with Matthieu Chedid (aka -M-). Under the influence of Laeticia, the image of Johnny will however modernize.
When he announces his cancer in March 2017 and goes back on stage with Les Vieilles Canailles – Eddy Mitchell and Jacques Dutronc–, Laeticia does not leave him a single, regularly giving her news on Instagram.
“I know how to be a good warrior”, confided in June in a women’s magazine the one who also invested in the humanitarian, within the Unicef first and then through his association “The good star”, for children in trouble in Vietnam.