The Feud: Bernard Arnault vs. Libération

France's richest man is suing Libération after the left-wing newspaper branded him a tax dodger.


The conflict: Shortly before French President François Hollande confirmed his support for a 75% tax on millionaires, news broke that Bernard Arnault—who has a net worth of US$24.6 billion and is France’s richest man—had applied for Belgian citizenship. Libération then ran a picture of Arnault on its cover with the headline “Get lost, rich jerk!” and branded him a tax dodger.

The outcome: Arnault, offended by Libération’s “vulgarity and brutality,” is suing the newspaper and insists his citizenship application is for personal reasons, not tax evasion. Edouard de Rothschild, who owns a stake in Libération and is a member of the wealthy Rothschild dynasty, praised the paper’s approach and later told French television that he would pay taxes in France “wholeheartedly,” taking yet another dig at Arnault.

(Photo: Abaca Press)