THE daughter of Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo is suing her father’s close colleagues, claiming they have “pillaged and broken” her family.
Sylvie Uderzo is accusing her father’s close circle of advisors of “abuse of weakness” against the 84-year-old.
The legal challenge follows several years of bad relations between the father and his daughter, who was strongly opposed to Uderzo selling to Hachette, in December 2008, his 40 per cent stake in Albert-René, publishers of the Asterix books since the death of co-creator René Goscinny in 1977.
She said in early 2009 that the idea of Hachette taking majority control – with Goscinny’s daughter Anne also selling her 20 per cent – was like the Roman’s invading Gaul, referring to the storylines of the Asterix books.
She was particularly opposed to Hachette’s plans to continue the character’s adventures after her father’s death.
The feud however started in 2007 when Ms Uderzo was sacked from her job as managing director of Editions Albert-René, a decision which was later agreed by a Paris court not to have been properly founded on a “serious fault” on her part.
However it had been assumed that Ms Uderzo had buried the hatchet, when she took the decision to sell her own 40 per cent to Hachette earlier this month, for an undisclosed sum.
On the contrary, she has now launched legal action against individuals close to her father, and the Nanterre public prosecutor has opened an inquiry.
Ms Uderzo, 54, has said she took the “painful decision” so as to have French justice recognise that her father has been a victim of swindlers”.
Among those she is angry with are her father’s former plumber, now his right-hand man, who she claims has led him astray by persuading him to waste money on an extravagant new house with “pharaonic” decoration” and a Mirage III jet that is “sitting in a hangar”.
She also takes issue with certain Hachette staff, who she says have “isolated” her father and his notaire, who is undergoing investigation for fraud in another matter.
Ms Uderzo says these people have taken advantage of her father in recent years as he has aged and has lost close friends.
Uderzo said he feels “infinite sadness” at his daughter’s action and described her decision as “judicial harassment”.
The Asterix books are have sold more than 320 million across the world in about 100 languages.