The estranged wife of a French opera singer sued the entertainer Monday, alleging he subjected her to domestic violence throughout their decade-long marriage that left her at the “doorstep of death.”
Renée Izambard’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against 48-year-old Sébastien Izambard alleges domestic violence, assault, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A representative for the defendant could not be immediately reached for comment.
The plaintiff, a onetime senior publicist at Sony Music in Sydney, Australia, then known as Renée Murphy, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
” A world famous operatic popstar, Sébastien is an entertainer, a performer and a showman, skilled at presenting to the world the appearance of a highly successful man and devoted husband and father,” the suit alleges. “Sébastien’s true nature is that of a malignant, covert, coercively controlling, cruel, sexually depraved spouse abuser, a master at deception and blurring optics, who subjected his wife … to years of dangerous psychological abuse and torture … bringing her to the doorstep of death.”
The performer’s need for “constant attention and adulation, combined with his insatiable and perverted sexual desires, led to the terrorization, psychological manipulation, confusion, self-doubt, cognitive dissonance and psychological terror of Renée for the duration of their relationship…,” the suit alleges.
During a trip to Thailand at the beginning of their relationship, the singer “aggressively and severely verbally berated and chastised” the plaintiff publicly after she “did not stand beside him when he stopped to urinate by a tree next to the road,” the suit alleges.
During the same trip, she says the entertainer took her to a brothel without telling her where they were going. Once there, she “sat on a chair in the room with her eyes closed while Sébastien had a sex act performed on him by two Thai prostitutes,” the suit alleges.
In a jealous rage in 2006, he dragged the plaintiff across a hotel room floor by her arms and clothing while yelling and swearing at her, then tore off her clothing and threw cold water on her, the suit alleges.
“Throughout their relationship, Sebastien isolated Renée from her friends and family and regularly told Renée that she was crazy,” the suit alleges.
After the Izambards’ August 2008 wedding, he “carried on with pressure on Renée to involve other people, including masseuses, friends, co-workers and prostitutes, in their sexual relationship,” but she refused, the suit alleges.
In October 2017, after “years of psychological torture, sexual abuse and assault,” she suffered a severe emotional breakdown, according to her court papers. The singer told the plaintiff they would be “financially ruined by the cost of her treatment” and that they could lose their home because her illness was not covered by their insurance, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff alleges her husband has “systematically deprived and denied support and care” of the couple’s three children and she remains their primary caretaker.
Although the singer’s alleged physical abuse of the plaintiff stopped when she filed for divorce in November 2018, the “coercive control and post-separation abuse of Renée and her children did not,” according to the suit.
“Sébastien’s abuse of Renée and the children continues post-separation in a malignant attempt to regain power and control of Renée that Sébastien is not able to let go of,” the suit alleges.
The plaintiff has a separate lawsuit against State Farm Insurance and her estranged husband pending trial, stemming from the singer’s alleged decision to obtain a homeowner’s policy with coverage limits far below the value of their $12.95 million Malibu home, which was destroyed in the November 2018 Woolsey Fire.
In a cross-complaint, Sébastien Izambard also names State Farm as a defendant and is additionally is seeking a judge’s ruling that his wife was not authorized to receive any money from the insurer because she was an “unauthorized and unnamed payee.”
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: