Famed French singer, TV host, and former adult film actress Clara Morgane is the face of a new Champagne from the Charles de Cazanove Champagne brand, but not everybody is happy about the shiny pink bottle with her name on it. A French aristocrat descended from the Champagne label’s founder is shocked and appalled by the partnership, and is actually suing to try to prevent his family’s name from being associated with Morgane’s.
According to the The Times of London, Count Loïc Chiroussot de Bigault de Cazanove is suing to stop the Charles de Cazanove Champagne company from using his ancestor’s name with that of Clara Morgane. His great-great grandfather, Charles de Bigault de Cazanove, founded the Champagne company in 1811, but the family reportedly sold the company in the 1950s. According to the Champagne Charles de Cazanove website, in the 1950s the company was under the control of Martini & Rossi, and in the 1980s it was part of the Moët-Hennessey Group. Champagne Charles de Cazanove is currently owned by GH Martel, which has gotten a lot of publicity from the partnership with Clara Morgane.
“I am truly shocked. It’s simply scandalous. How could anyone associate the name of my illustrious family to that of Clara Morgane? It’s inconceivable,” said Count Loïc Chiroussot de Bigault de Cazanove in an interview with Europe 1 Radio.
The Count said he comes from a “great family of French nobles.” He says his family was ennobled in the 13th century by Louis IX, and his ancestors distinguished themselves fighting in the French Resistance during WWII. He says his illustrious family name is being sullied by association with a woman who performed in adult films.
“My ancestors are in tears,” he said. “My ancestors would be turning in their graves. General de Gaulle was a family friend and he would be turning in his grave too.”
Morgane responded to the controversy by posting a promotional photo of herself posing against a wall of wine barrels.
“Today Charles de Cazanove is a great Champagne house with which I am proud to be associated,” she wrote. She also said that if Chiroussot was worried about his ancestors’ opinions, they should have thought of that before they sold the name and the company all those years ago.
The suit seeks to have the Charles de Cazanove name removed from the Clara Morgane vintage, and it is expected to go before a judge on January 9.
UPDATE: Wine-Searcher.com reports that the case was dropped after no represenatatives for either side of the court case showed up for the hearing on January 9. The Clara Morgane Champagne costs 50 euros a bottle, so it’s not cheap, even if it’s not quite one of the most expensive Champagnes in the world.