Anthony Delon: The Wounds of a Rough Upbringing


C’is as much a love cry as a balance sheet of all accounts … for this clan that helped him grow, his two mothers – that of blood, Nathalie, that of heart, Mireille Darc – both missing, his godfather, the agent Georges Baume, who acted as father, and his famous ancestor Alain Delon, a protective shadow, an authoritarian figure who educated his son more than he educated him… Yet it is to this crushing father that ‘Anthony Delon dedicates the last few sentences his book, Between dog and wolf : “I have loved and loved all the members of this family,” he concludes. At least the only survivor so far. »

And yet, what hate, rage, rage and resistance reported through these intimate pages… “My father has tried many times to bend me, to weaken me, and he has done so since I was 10, the age at which I became a man became him, he writes in his autobiography. I don’t think he wanted to destroy me, he wanted to subjugate me. Like in a horde of wolves, in which the clan has to bow to the dominant. Deliberate or not, the destruction was still at work…”

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Like that day when Delon was upset that his son misbehaved at the table. “After two or three protests, filled with sudden anger, he grabbed my plate and threw it out the wide-open window, accompanied by a ‘go to your room.’ But the crisis was far from over: his father then stormed in with a large leather whip in his hand. “Ironically, it was Zoro’s,” continues Anthony Delon. I don’t recall any physical pain, but the words left large cuts that took a long time to heal: “I don’t even whip my dogs with that whip!” he said between lashes. »

tame the fear

Anthony remembers the challenge his father gave him when he was 12 to test his courage: “Prove me you’ve got balls, walk around the lake in the dark… Come on! he demanded one evening. “He knew very well that I was afraid of the dark, not to mention that the lake is 300 meters from the house on the edge of the forest and is 5 hectares. The circumnavigation was equivalent to a twenty-five minute walk in the dead of winter on a dark night. “And finally:” He managed to get used to the fear over time. »

With Delon, “there were days with and days without”, depending on mood and anger… The actor could organize games, swim in the pool with family, crack jokes, dress up as a ghost to amuse his son and friends… And the next day suddenly be fixed on small things. Every morning Anthony had to leave, his father didn’t want to be disturbed when he woke up. He was impatiently waiting for the weekends in Douchy to go for a walk with him, a rare intimate moment to accompany the dogs. And always in silence…

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Thus, Anthony Delon grew up between his mother-in-law Mireille, his nanny and a mostly absent father. At 15, he decides to go back to his mother, a betrayal for the actor, who literally lunges at his son when Anthony makes his choice in front of the juvenile court. “I can still hear my mother screaming: Alaiiiiinn! !, and came to grab his shoulders to pull him back as he squeezed my throat, preventing me from breathing. “And to add, ‘After that, whenever my mother tried to settle another argument between us, she always came up with the same refrain, the judge’s case: That day your son disowned me.’ ‘ To which Nathalie inevitably replied: ‘It’s yours too…’

jealousy and frustration

There will be many other crises as an adult, especially if he follows in his father’s footsteps by starting his own clothing brand or signing for pubs. There are so many yellow lines for the world star not to cross… When he found out in 1982 that his son had been asked by Mitsubishi to promote the brand, he said to him: “If you do that, you will have an enemy on earth, your father. Anton resigns. “I wasn’t afraid of a possible conflict, but the idea of ​​disappointing him took over,” he admits. “Seeing me grow up, beautiful, into the prime of life, no doubt stirred up an uncontrollable jealousy and deep frustration at not being 20 anymore, a resentment that drove him without detention into a spiral of… Destruction and oppression rushed…”

Did he just love him? asks Anthony in his book. Central question, on which he later offers his own analysis: Delon desired, wanted and loved him madly until he was four years old, when his mother Nathalie left the actor. A failure that awakened the ghosts of the past and sent Delon back into the familial chaos of his own history… “Disowned, abandoned and unloved by his parents in his childhood, he reproduced in his own way, with his own violence, experiencing trauma”, analyzed today his eldest son.

It took all of these final bereavements, Mimi, Nathalie, the ordeal of illness, until the clan finally laid down their arms and father and son talked to each other and respected each other. Anthony reveals that before her death, Nathalie sent her husband a final message facing the camera he was filming for an upcoming documentary: “Alain, since I’m going to be leaving, I have one thing to ask of you… Love your son as I do love him, forget your differences. “Impressed by the way his eldest was coping with his mother’s end of life, Delon asked him to oversee his own euthanasia in case… A request made in the wake of his strokes and major surgery that required the actor to rely on his son could count. “So he confided in me secrets,” Anthony concludes. Secrets I will never reveal. He knows that despite all our differences, I will not betray his trust…”

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Between dog and wolfby Anthony Delon, ed. Le Cherche Midi, 192 pages, March 2022, 18.50 euros.

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