It was an unlikely and controversial marriage, with an inheritance waiting at the end. Or was it?
Marchel Amphoux was an old toothless hermit who wasn't exactly the handsomest guy in France. The 68-year-old ‘mountain man’ lived a simple life in one of his five huts without electricity or running water.
What he lacked in good looks he made up for in wealth. Mr. Amphoux was very wealthy – owning five shepherd's huts close to the Alpine ski resort Serre Chevalier. His land is prime real estate, worth millions.
Enter Sandrine Devillard, a Parisian real estate agent, and wannabe pop star. As reported by the French media, Devillard first met with Amphoux in an attempt to buy his land. He refused. Soon after, they entered a relationship which stirred a lot of controversy among residents of his Alpine village and elsewhere as well.
Many people accused her of being a gold-digger and manipulating the old hermit. She spent most of her time in Paris where her four businesses were based in – while Amphoux stayed on the mountain.
To silence her critics she wrote and performed a song in a Youtube music video – which she dedicated to her husband.CLICK PAGE 2 TO WATCH THE VIDEO
In 2012, a year after their wedding, Mr. Amphoux died in a mysterious car accident. The vehicle was being driven by his wife's friend before it plummeted off a mountain in heavy mist. The driver was acquitted of the manslaughter charges.
The entire Alpine village came to Mr. Amphoux's funeral. The priest presiding over the wake stated that the old hermit was treated like a "balance sheet, not a person." The outrage continued when Devillard tried to throw herself into his grave.
Naturally, Devillard expected to inherit her late husband's fortune. Villagers said that she told them they were going to be evicted.
Fortunately there's a happy twist at the end of this story.
Mr. Amphoux’s will was discovered in 2013 written on the back of an envelope. In the will, the late hermit stated that the huts were to be left to their tenants.
The rest of the property was granted to a female cousin. Devillard would receive nothing.
According to his lawyer, Jean-Michel Colmant, the document was written "in the weeks just before Marcel's death."
"Everyone who has seen it confirms that it is in Marcel's writing. He has clearly stated that he wishes to leave nothing to his wife," he added.
Devillard challenged the validity of the will in the courts. Unfortunately for her, the courts decided that the will was genuine because it was written in Amphoux's hand writing.
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