Former Adidas owner and scandal-ridden French tycoon Bernard Tapie and his wife were tied up with electrical cords and severely beaten during a violent burglary at their home, according to officials.
Tapie, 78, and wife Dominique Tapie, 70, were sleeping in their home in Combs-la-Ville near Paris around 12:30 a.m. Sunday when four men broke in and tied them up, police said, according to AFP.
The suspects struck Tapie in the head with a club, but he did not want to be hospitalized, the outlet reported.
“My grandfather refused to be taken away,” his grandson Rodolphe Tapie told the outlet. “He is shattered, very tired. He was sitting on a chair when he was hit with a club.”
His wife — slightly injured from several blows to the face — managed to free herself and find safety at a neighbor’s home, where she called police.
She was hospitalized for a brief check-up.
“She is doing well,” the couple’s grandson told AFP.
The burglars pulled Dominique Tapie by the hair “because they wanted to know where the treasure was,” Combs-la-Ville mayor Guy Geoffroy told the outlet. “But of course there was no treasure, and the fact that they didn’t find one made the violence only worse.”
The suspects ultimately made off with two watches, one of them a Rolex, as well as earrings, bracelets and a ring, a source close to the investigation told AFP.
Bernard Tapie is a former Socialist minister who came from humble beginnings but ultimately built a sporting and media empire — before running into legal trouble.
He was the majority shareholder of the sportswear brand Adidas, as well as the owner of the football club Olympique de Marseille, who won the French championship during his ownership.
He also briefly served as the French minister for urban affairs for François Mitterrand’s government from 1992 to 1993.
But Tapie was then found guilty in various cases for corruption, tax fraud and misuse of corporate assets. He spent five months behind bars in 1997 and was prohibited from standing in any French election.
Following his release, he had a stint at acting and hosting gigs on TV and radio.
In 2012, he became a media boss, taking over the southern French daily La Provence and other newspapers.
Now, he is facing a criminal trial over a fraudulent 404 million-euro ($450 million today) arbitration package linked to his sale of Adidas in the 1990s.
With Post wires