French film legend Jean-Paul Belmondo has received death threats, his ex-wife told AFP on Friday, explaining why she refused to allow their daughter to spend her holiday with him.
Responding to the 76-year-old star's public complaint that he was being denied access to six-year-old Stella, Natty Tardivel said both she and her former husband had received menacing hate mail.
"I have lodged an official complaint and am living under police protection. I'm living a nightmare and I'm frightened. The police told me that Jean-Paul got the same letter and had also made a complaint," she said.
"I've never objected to Stella seeing her father, but I want it to be in a safe and calm environment. I don't think that's the case at the moment."
Tardivel was speaking after Belmondo, who won global fame in the 1960 love story "A Bout de Souffle" (Breathless) and has been one of France's best loved stars for more than four decades, attacked her in a Paris Match interview.
Belmondo complained that his ex-wife had prevented Stella from joining him at a villa in the south of France where he is spending the summer with Belgian former Playboy model Barbara Gandolfi.
The star, famous for his roguish roles in dozens of comedy action movies, made no mention of death threats but alleged that Tardivel was preventing him from seeing the child because of Gandolfi's legal troubles.
Gandolfi told the magazine that Belgian police had raided a nightclub she co-owns with an ex-boyfriend in the Belgian port of Ostend and that she was under investigation for money laundering and human trafficking.
Posing for poolside pictures with Belmondo, Gandolfi described her businesses as "theatrical venues where young women dance around vertical poles for a largely male audience" and insisted she was innocent of any crime.
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