Illegitimate son wins Saint Emilion battle

Christian Pascaud, "the Bastard of Saint Emilion", has won an 11-year legal battle to be allowed part of his late father’s estate.

pascaud.jpgPascaud (left) is the illegitimate son of William Arreaud whose family owned a property in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes. In the late 1950s Arreaud had an affair with Pascaud’s mother Fleurette, the daughter of another producer.

When she fell pregnant, Arreaud’s family told him to forget his “youthful error” and Fleurette went to Libourne to raise her son.

Returning to Saint Emilion, Pascaud contacted his father and, after a frosty start, the two struck up a cordial relationship.

Local rumour had it that Arreaud had a cut a deal with the town hall to help pay for the estate’s upkeep in exchange for it after his death.

When Arreaud died, childless, in 2002 following a stroke, Pascaud began a legal challenge to prove he was the legitimate heir to the estate and his father had left it to him not to the town hall as was announced by the mayor.

His positive DNA link was dismissed by French courts on the grounds that paternal recognition can only be sought 10 years after turning 18.

However, the European Court of Human Rights overturned the ruling calling it an: “Unjustified refusal to establish the true lineage of a man with regards to his biological father”.

Rupert Millar, 23.06.2011 

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