Carlos Ghosn: Renault probes ex-chair’s lavish Marie Antoinette-themed wedding at Palace of Versailles
Mr Ghosn and wife held their reception at Le Grand Trianon, a chateau on the edge of Versailles, without paying the usual €50,000 fee for venue hire
Renault has informed prosecutors about a sponsorship deal that allowed former chair Carlos Ghosn to host his lavish wedding reception at the Palace of Versailles for free.
The €50,000 (£44,000) fee for hiring the venue had been waived for Mr Ghosn, Renault said.
The French car manufacturer sponsored renovations of Versailles, the vast palace complex outside Paris built in the 17th century for the “Sun King”, Louis XIV.
Join Independent Minds
For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month
Get the best of The Independent
With an Independent Minds subscription for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month
It emerged on Thursday that as part of the deal Mr Ghosn and wife were allowed to hold their Marie Antoinette-themed reception at Le Grand Trianon, a chateau on the edge of Versailles.
Renault’s ethics committee was informed about the discovery on Wednesday, Le Figaro reported
At the event in 2017, actors in 18th-century wigs and ball gowns entertained 120 guests who were treated to a selection of colourful cakes – in homage to Marie Antoinette’s supposed reaction to hearing the news that French peasants had run out of bread.
The dining room was decorated with Saint-Louis crystal, antique silver trays, and French porcelain.
“We wanted it to feel as if we were inviting guests into our home – nothing too studied,” Carole Ghosn told Town & Country magazine at the time.
Mr Ghosn has been detained in Japan since November as authorities investigate a series of charges that he underreported his income by tens of millions of pounds over five years.
The former head of the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi is also said to have enjoyed the use of company-funded homes in Rio de Janeiro and Paris, among others.
Mr Ghosn denies all of the charges.
Renault said on Thursday it had discovered that “Mr Ghosn was accorded a personal benefit valued at €50,000 under the terms of a sponsorship contract with the chateau de Versailles”.
The firm added: “Renault has decided to bring these findings to the attention of the judicial authorities.”
The carmaker replaced Mr Ghosn as chair and chief executive on 24 January and is conducting an internal probe into its own payments to him.
We’ll tell you what’s true.
You can form your own view.
At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Please support us and enjoy extra exclusives, events, ebooks – all with no ads.