Gold-digger or last great love? Alain Delon was cinema’s most seductive Frenchman but now aged 87 he’s at the centre of a bitter war between his three kids and the woman, 60, he’s lived with for 17 years
Hailed as the most seductive man in cinema, with his fathomless blue eyes, macho swagger and undercurrent of danger, Alain Delon was, for decades, France’s most recognisable male export – and perhaps the least modest.
As he boasted in an interview in 2018 to announce his retirement: ‘I was very, very, very, very handsome indeed. The women were all obsessed with me. From when I was 18 till when I was 50.’
He wasn’t wrong. In his heyday, his inveterate womanising was the subject of much scandal.
Now he is 87 years old, Alain Delon’s looks have faded, and since he suffered a stroke in 2019 those blowtorch eyes have dimmed to grey.
He was notable by his absence at the funeral of actress and model Jane Birkin in Paris this week.
Alain Delon was, for decades, France’s most recognisable male export. Pictured with French actress Brigitte Bardot
Delon pictured with his ‘partner’ Hiromi Rollin, 60. She was kicked out of his home earlier this month, her belongings dumped unceremoniously on the grand driveway of Chateau de la Brulerie
Birkin, who died aged 76, and Delon had starred in The Swimming Pool in 1969 alongside Romy Schneider, with whom he had a tempestuous five-year affair.
But it was Jane who was clearly on his mind, with Delon releasing a poignant tribute: ‘Gone to join your Serge [Gainsbourg, Birkin’s lover], Romy and all the others . . . one more angel. . . Thank you, thank you my Jane!’
Jane was just one of the many screen beauties he starred with, who included Brigitte Bardot, Lauren Bacall, Ursula Andress and Claudia Cardinale.
In real life, Delon also squired some of the world’s most desirable women, such as Lana Wood and, according to rumour, Jane Fonda. He was famously pictured charming Marianne Faithfull, his co-star in Girl On A Motorcycle, while her boyfriend Mick Jagger sat glumly next to them.
These days the great seducer, said to be worth about £250 million, lives a much quieter life – but when it comes to women, scandal follows him still.
In a complex drama which has captivated a nation that reveres Delon as one of the monstres sacrés or ‘big beasts’ of French cinema, his most recent lover is being sued by his children amid allegations of elder abuse, vast sums of missing money and even the mistreatment of Delon’s beloved Belgian shepherd dog, Loubo.
Glamorous Hiromi Rollin, 60, was kicked out of his home earlier this month, her belongings dumped unceremoniously on the grand driveway of Chateau de la Brulerie, his fairytale retreat in 30 acres south of Paris, in the village of Douchy-Montcorbon.
Delon’s three adult children (themselves all actors) – Anthony, 58, from his marriage to actress Nathalie, and Anouchka, 32, and Alain-Fabien, 28, from his relationship with Dutch actress Rosalie van Breemen — say Madame Rollin was a paid home help who got ideas above her station.
Delon is currently in the midst of a family scandal including allegations of elder abuse, vast sums of missing money and even the mistreatment of Delon’s beloved Belgian shepherd dog. Here he is pictured with Marianne Faithfull
They claim she is after a slice of the actor’s fortune.
For her part, Ms Rollin, who is of Japanese descent, says the children never accepted her legitimate relationship with their father – with whom she says she began living in 2006 – and are only concerned with protecting their inheritance. Two criminal complaints have now been filed by the family against Ms Rollin, with allegations ranging from harassment to physical and psychological abuse, as well as theft and animal cruelty.
On Wednesday this week, her modest home in nearby Suresnes was raided and she spent six hours being questioned by the police.
As an investigating source says: ‘This is a very bitter war and neither side is taking prisoners. The children want Madame Rollin to disappear, while she claims she has devoted the best years of her life to Alain Delon and deserves to be rewarded for being his de facto wife.’
Judicial police and gendarmes directed by Jean-Cédric Gaux, the local public prosecutor for Montargis, are compiling the growing inquiry file.
The Delon children claim in a statement that Ms Rollin ‘systematically controls’ their father’s ‘telephone conversations and private messages’.
Christophe Ayela, a barrister for the three Delon children, claims that Ms Rollin had, since 2019, become ‘more and more aggressive, denigrating and insulting’ towards their father, and indeed towards them.
Anthony Delon is said to be particularly angry that Ms Rollin had not told any of them when, in November 2021, Delon fell and was rushed to hospital.
It was only when his sister Anouchka made a routine call to her father the next day that they discovered he was in hospital, where he had needed stitches. And the Mail can reveal that a third complaint is being planned by the family.
Delon pictured at his 28th birthday party with American actress Jane Fonda
Delon suffered a stroke in 2019, at the time he praised Rollin for being at his side during his recovery
Mr Ayela said: ‘The situation is actually worse than feared. I’m about to file a complaint for new and potentially very serious facts discovered since the departure of Madame Rollin.
‘The extremely serious ongoing investigation will reveal the exact nature and extent of Madame Rollin’s malicious intentions.’
A case document adds: ‘She answers the phone pretending to be him, and she tries to intercept his post. She prevents his children from coming to see him regularly, as they have nevertheless always done.
‘She is authoritarian and threatening, even going so far as to mistreat Mr Delon’s dog.’
Sources say this amounts to allegations of neglect and sending the dog to kennels rather than keeping him on the estate.
The three children believe Rollin has ‘put pressure on’ Delon to marry her.
In December 2022, they got him to sign a statement saying he refused to marry her or give her any rights to his money or possessions, it is alleged. The children even claim that Delon agreed to the ejection of Ms Rollin from the house – but she firmly rejects this, alleging that she was bullied out by hired security guards.
Rollin emerged from Wednesday’s ‘preliminary questioning’ after six hours without being charged. Yassine Bouzrou, Rollin’s lawyer, said: ‘This hearing lasted six hours because Ms Rollin wanted to speak about all the charges brought against her, and to provide the investigators with all the elements useful for the truth to emerge.’
Mr Bouzrou denies all suggestions of her wrongdoing and insists she was ‘not paid to keep Alain Delon company’ but was his life partner and lover.
Delon’s three adult children say Madame Rollin was a paid home help who got ideas above her station
In his heyday Delon’s inveterate womanising was the subject of much scandal
Actor Delon poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘A Hidden Life’ in Cannes
He says they first met in 1989 on a film when Rollin was working as an assistant director, adding: ‘They quickly established an intimate relationship.’
They worked together later on The Return Of Casanova, a period film released in 1992, and then she was hired – apparently on Delon’s say-so – to work with him on the French TV detective series Frank Riva.
The lawyer added: ‘Hiromi Rollin moved into the Douchy home in 2006. They then lived together and shared a life as a couple until she was evicted from this home on July 5, 2023.’
Mr Bouzrou’s account is at least in part borne out by pictures of the two of them looking affectionate at functions.
In a TV documentary in 2021, Delon presented Ms Rollin as ‘my partner’ (the French words used were companion and compagne, which best translate as partner and girlfriend).
He praised her for being at his side during his recovery from his stroke in 2019. That September, she accompanied him to the Paris funeral of Jean-Paul Belmondo, a fellow film legend and occasional co-star, who died aged 88.
When the Daily Mail visited Douchy-Montcorbon this week, there were plenty of local people who said that they had seen Rollin and Delon enjoying themselves together.
‘In recent months he’s been confined to a golf buggy to get around, but before that the couple used to be together a lot,’ said one. ‘They acted like a normal loving couple.’
The neighbour said they were particularly fond of a restaurant called L’Auberge du Terroir, where Delon has a favourite table by the fireplace — albeit one he preferred to use alone.
Delon pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019
Delon on the set of Plein Soleil in 1960
Rollin has produced a 39-page legal dossier of her own, denying all the charges levelled against her and accusing the children of abusing Delon themselves.
‘They did not get involved in the daily life of their ageing father,’ it states, and she was not his ‘lady in waiting’ but a devoted partner, even though ‘the children of Alain Delon have never accepted the existence of our romantic relationship’.
A source close to Ms Rollin said: ‘She believes Mr Delon is being manipulated by his children.
‘He has not spoken to her since the eviction. She has not even been allowed back to the house to pick up her many possessions, some of which were dumped on the drive. Money, valuables and personal correspondence have all been left behind.’
Ms Rollin believes the interest of Delon’s children was ‘solely pecuniary’ and that they wanted to prevent her getting any share of his estate.
For at the heart of the matter is the ailing star’s fortune, estimated to be at least £250 million.
After rising to international fame in the 1960s with films such as Plein Soleil in 1960, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s book The Talented Mr Ripley, and The Leopard and L’Eclisse, Delon proved adept at making money.
He had dozens of business and property ventures, including a football club, restaurants and even a sunglasses line which was popular in Asia.
He was also known for moving in controversial circles. In 1968 he was embroiled in a gangland scandal after the death of his close friend and one-time bodyguard Stevan Markovic.
Markovic’s corpse was found dumped in a skip on the outskirts of Paris. The theory was that he had been ‘rubbed out’ after staging an orgy at which a hidden camera captured images of future French President Georges Pompidou’s wife, Claude.
Delon denied any involvement in events but was reported to have attended Markovic’s orgies with his girlfriends. The chief suspect for the murder was Corsican crime boss Francois Marcantoni.
In the wake of the scandal, Delon bought his chateau in 1971 and moved in with his then-girlfriend, model Mireille Darc.
The walls were hung with works by artists such as Raoul Dufy and Eugene Delacroix. A recent sale of some paintings raised £8million.
For decades Delon has also had Swiss residency, which has allowed his earnings to flow in free of tax.
Of course, there is one person who could put this dispute straight – Delon himself.
Rollin’s lawyer, Mr Bouzrou, notes that the actor ‘has not filed a complaint’ against his partner.
He has, though, appointed his daughter as his executor and appears content to have his family fight this battle for him – which raises the question of whether this may in fact be a final, spectacular romantic dumping from a man who has always been averse to commitment.
French actor Alain Delon (right) holds the hand of his daughter actress Anouchka Delon before being awarded with an Honorary Palme d’Or at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival
Because Delon – who was brought up in a wealthy area of Paris but went off the rails after his parents’ divorce and left school at 14 – has form for being ruthless in matters of the heart.
He cheated on Romy Schneider, whom he later described as the love of his life, and was also said to have fathered a son called Christian by Nico, the stunning Sixties German singer-songwriter, during their romance. But Delon denied the boy was his – even though his own mother helped to care for him – and never wavered in his rejection.
Christian, who went on to become a photographer, died of a heroin overdose in May this year, aged 60.
Ultimately it will be up to the French legal system to decide what happens in this, a plotline worthy of any of Delon’s films. But a happy ending seems most unlikely.
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