Edouard Stern

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Former call girl pleads guilty to killing billionaire French banker after kinky sex session
By Peter Allen for MailOnline
UPDATED: 20:10 EDT, 10 June 2009

A former call girl pleaded guilty to killing a billionaire French banker after kinky sex and an argument over $1 million, saying the crime was 'not a question of money but of the heart'.

Cecile Brossard interrupted proceedings to tell the packed Geneva courtroom that she had committed an 'abominable act' against her lover Edouard Stern, and wanted the full truth to be known.

Stern, 50, was found dead in his locked luxury Geneva flat on March 1, 2005. Four bullet holes pierced the head-to-toe flesh-coloured latex outfit he still wore from the night before.

Edouard Stern: Shot dead by his lover after allegedly taunting her: 'A million dollars is a lot to pay for a whore'
Cécile Brossard, left, is said to have shot Edouard Stern, right, after he allegedly taunted her: 'A million dollars is a lot to pay for a whore'

'My heart is full of remorse and pain. I have come to explain myself, not to defend myself, and say how it happened,' a sobbing Brossard said in a barely audible voice.

'I know it was my fault.'

She expressed regret that his three adult children - two of whom were allowed to testify privately earlier - would never again be able to celebrate Christmas with their father.

'I want to tell them the truth, not destroy Edouard or dirty his name,' the 40-year-old said. He had been the 'most intelligent, refined, cultivated and marvellous man' she had ever known.

Marc Bonnant, the Stern family lawyer, intervened to say: 'If he was such a marvellous man, you shouldn't have shot him'.

Stern's family, including his former wife Beatrice, was seated just a few feet behind Brossard, who wore grey trousers and a blue vest, her blond hair in a tight bun.

'The defence will plead it was a crime of passion,' Brossard's defence lawyer Alec Reymond told the courtroom.

Beatrice David-Weill, widow of murdered French financier Edouard Stern, her children Mathilde and Louis, and lawyer Marc Bonnant

Court papers showed Brossard confessed to having killed Stern with his own revolver after an argument over $1 million he put into her Swiss account after she demanded it as 'proof of his love for her'.

He blocked it after she refused to return it.

Investigating officers who testified on Wednesday quoted Brossard as having said she shot Stern after he told her: 'One million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore.'

The banker was sitting with his hands tied, wearing a full latex bodysuit, when she first shot him between the eyes with his own handgun.

Brossard interrupted proceedings to tell the packed courtroom that she had committed an 'abominable act' against her lover Edouard Stern

Somehow he got to his feet so she shot him twice in the torso. Brossard finished the billionaire off with a bullet to the temple.

Stern, scion of a banking family and the 38th richest man in France, counted President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist politician Laurent Fabius among his friends.

He was once heir apparent to his father-in-law, Michel David-Weill of the investment bank Lazard Freres.

Known for his abrasive style, he ran an investment fund from Geneva and gave advice on some of Europe's largest mergers. His murder rocked the staid Swiss city's financial circles.

Beatrice Stern, his wife from 1983 to 1999, testified that his children still spoke every day of their father. 'He was their hero.' she said.

Edouard Stern had an 'explosive' character at times but quickly regained his composure and was not a manipulator, she said.

'Nothing could have justified killing him. It made no sense.'

Two police officers testified that Brossard was arrested two weeks after the crime after fleeing to Italy and Australia.

The murder weapon, which she had thrown into Lake Geneva, and the dominatrix clothing she had worn were also recovered.

It was Brossard who introduced the French banker to sado-masochism. She also acted as a go-between, supplying him with women and men she knew.

The couple were known to have taken part in threesomes, at other times she watched His sexual appetite was said to be enormous and the couple regularly took part in threesomes.

They broke up six or seven times. When she didn’t respond to his calls, he would insist on talking. He is said to have harassed her with phone calls, e-mails, text messages.

Chief prosecutor Daniel Zappelli has said he will seek a conviction for murder, for which the maximum penalty is 20 years' imprisonment, rather than a crime of passion, which has a 10-year maximum sentence.

A verdict is expected on June 19.

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Cecile Brossard, who killed French banker Edouard Stern during S&M session, 'eternally' regrets his death
Posted 11 Dec 2013, 8:45pm

MAP: Switzerland
The woman who shot a top French banker during a sado-masochistic sex session in 2005 has expressed deep regret for his killing on a Swiss investigative news program.

Cecile Brossard, who had confessed to shooting Edouard Stern four times in his Geneva penthouse flat on February 28, 2005, was handed an eight-and-a-half year sentence for his manslaughter.

Brossard's lawyers argued she snapped under the pressure of a tormented four-year relationship with Stern, whom they portrayed as a "narcissistic pervert" and deeply manipulative.

Brossard left Stern's latex-clad body in the penthouse to be found the next day.

"It is obvious that every second of my life that goes by I regret, and will eternally regret my action," Cecile Brossard, 43, wrote in a letter read aloud during the show dedicated to the murder.

It was the first time Brossard, who was found guilty in 2009 by a Geneva of Stern's murder, has spoken out publicly about the crime.

"I wasn't in a state where I could think... Everything just exploded inside me," she said of the moment she shot Stern, one of France's wealthiest men and a personal friend of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

She said she had decided to come forward to talk about "the real Edouard", whose name had been dragged through the mud during her trial, which exposed lurid details about their four-year relationship and a tale of sex, power and money.

"Edouard had a beautiful spirit," she wrote in the letter, read out by a television presenter because she did not wish to appear in person on the program.

Because Brossard she had served more than four years on remand before her trial, she qualified for early release in November 2010.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Stern's family had alleged instead that Brossard was cynically motivated by greed and the prospect of a $1 million payment he had made to her but later froze.

In Wednesday's letter, Brossard herself insisted she missed her lover, who had "a lovely and luminous personality."

"Life without Edouard is not the same as life with Edouard," she wrote.


Édouard Stern (October 18, 1954 – February 28, 2005) was a French banker famously murdered by a prostitute in Geneva, Switzerland.[1] At the time of his death, he was the 38th richest French citizen.[2]
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Édouard Stern was born in 1954 to one of France’s wealthiest families, the owners of the private investment house Banque Stern (fr).[3] His father, Antoine Jean Stern is a descendant of a notable family of bankers, going back to 19th-century Frankfurt, and his mother was Christiane Laroche, former wife of French journalist and politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber.[4]
Keen to follow in his father's footsteps, Stern graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC Business School) in Paris with a degree in finance before joining the family's private investment house in 1977.[5]

Aged 22, Stern took the reigns of Banque Stern with a clear mandate to revitalize the nearly bankrupt institution. During the 1980s, Stern revamped the bank, expanding its activity in financial markets, as well as in mergers and acquisitions.[6] In 1985, Stern sold the bank for 300 million francs[7] ($60 million in 2005 dollars) to Lebanese investors. Thanks to a clause attached to the contract, Stern got to keep the copyright over his last name. Immediately after the sale went through, Stern started a new bank,[8] with a similar name and business profile, drawing in many of his former clients. He sold this second institution for an estimated 1.75 billion francs[9] in 1988 to the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBS, which will later merge with UBS to form UBS S.A.). As a result of these transactions, Stern shot up the ranks of the richest families in France, occupying the 38th spot, according to Forbes.[10]

In 1992, he joined Lazard Frères as managing partner and quickly became one of the firm's star bankers and heir-apparent.[11] He tried to reduce overhead[12] and bring in younger partners but clashed with Michael David-Weill, the bank's head and his father-in-law. He quit Lazard Frères in 1997 and set up his own investment fund, Investment Real Returns (IRR). He owned half and the remainder was held by Eurazeo, a Lazard holding company and Mainz Holdings Ltd., a U.S. Virgin Islands firm that Stern wholly owned.[13] He maintained cordial relations with David-Weill, who invested $300 million in IRR.[14]

In 2000, Stern bought shares in the London-based Delta PLC, an international engineering group that was revising its corporate strategy. His stake eventually increased to 26%[13] and after applying considerable pressure, he was named non-executive chairman on December 31, 2003. After his death, Delta was taken over by the US company, Valmont. [13] In October 2003, Stern sued Rhodia, alleging false accounting and insider dealing.[15]

During his almost three decade long career, Stern amassed a fortune of more than a $1 billion through a series of "often brilliant business deals".[7] His banking style was considered revolutionary for France's so-called "cozy capitalism" as Stern perfected the art of engineering hostile takeovers.[7]

On February 28, Stern was found dead in his apartment in Geneva, his body riddled with bullets. He was found in the bedroom, in a flesh-coloured head-to-toe latex suit. Swiss authorities arrested his long-time lover, Cécile Brossard, over the killing. Brossard, 40, was convicted and on June 18, 2009 was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison.[16][17] In addition, the Swiss court ordered Brossard to pay Stern's children one Swiss franc for "moral damage". The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Stern's family hopes people will stop talking about the case".[18]

Cécile Brossard was freed on parole in November 2010, after spending five years in detention (including four years while awaiting trial.[19] In 2013, Cécile Brossard talked about her murder for the first time since the trial, confessing that she "eternally regrets" her actions and she misses her lover, who had "a lovely and luminous personality".[20][21]

The French film "Une Histoire d'Amour''.[22] (titled in English 'Tied') is a direct telling of the story, although the ending there could imply death by dehydration during the Mistress' long plane flight rather than by (a blank) gunshot. The story of Édouard Stern is cited as the inspiration for Olivier Assayas' 2008 film Boarding Gate.[23] The death of Édouard Stern was directly parodied on the FX animated series Archer in the third season episode "Lo Scandalo".[24]

Personal life
In 1983, Édouard Stern married Béatrice David-Weill, the daughter of  Michel David Weill , president of Lazard Frères. The couple divorced in 1998. Stern is survived by three children.[25] In 1997, Stern became romantically linked to Julia Lemigova, former Miss USSR 1990 with whom he had a son, Maxmillian, who died as an infant under suspicious circumstances.[26] In 2000, Stern became involved with Cecile Brossard.[25]
Stern was known for his eccentric life style. He was very close to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.[27] He was a notorious gourmand, once reportedly eating seventy pieces of sushi in one sitting.[28]

Jump up ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1484959/Edouard-Stern.html 
Jump up ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article422456.ece
Jump up ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-06/07/content_8257092.htm
Jump up ^ "Trajectoire d'une comète". lesechos.fr. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
Jump up ^ "Edouard Stern". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
Jump up ^ "Edouard Stern,Ex-Lazard Banker, Dies in Geneva at 50 (Correct) - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
^ Jump up to: a b c Carreyrou, John; Paris, Jo Wrighton in; JOURNAL, Alessandra Galloni in Geneva Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET. "How Banker's Life, Full of Intrigue,Ended in Murder". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
Jump up ^ Carreyrou, John; Paris, Jo Wrighton in; JOURNAL, Alessandra Galloni in Geneva Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET. "How Banker's Life, Full of Intrigue, Ended in Murder". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
Jump up ^ "L'affaire Stern : épilogue d'un itinéraire tourmenté". Les Echos. June 8, 2006. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ "Former call girl pleads guilty to killing billionaire French banker after kinky sex session". Dailymail. June 11, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ "Lazard Banker to Join Pritzker Concern". New York Times. January 8, 1998. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ "Lazard And Mediobanca: Shocks To The System". Bloomberg. November 27, 2000. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
^ Jump up to: a b c "Edouard Stern, Ex-Lazard Banker, Dies in Geneva at 50 (Correct)". Bloomberg. March 3, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ "How Banker's Life, Full of Intrigue, Ended in Murder". The Wall Street Journal. April 14, 2005. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ [1] Report on Stock Market Malpractice
Jump up ^ Stern murder, Cécile Brossard trial will be the talk of Geneva, GenevaLunch, 9 June 2009
Jump up ^ Sex, power, money and blood: the Stern trial, Swissinfo.ch, June 10, 2009
Jump up ^ https://online.wsj.com/article/SB124536704545629299.html
Jump up ^ http://www.spectator.co.uk/print/the-magazine/cartoons/13450/broke-and-desperate.thtml
Jump up ^ "Cecile Brossard, who killed French banker Edouard Stern during S&M session, 'eternally' regrets his death". December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ Stern’s Mistress Gets 8 Years, 6 Months for Killing Financier, June 18, 2009, Bloomberg L.P.
Jump up ^ Imdb.com entry
Jump up ^ Memento Films press release for the film Boarding Gate. retrieved May 25, 2008
Jump up ^ [2]
^ Jump up to: a b "Edouard Stern : l’amour sauvage". June 11, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ "Tennis legend Martina, VIP orgies and the mystery of her model lover's 'murdered' baby". November 10, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
Jump up ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/5561714/Ccile-Brossard-guilty-of-murder-in-shooting-of-Edouard-Stern.html
Jump up ^ "Book review, tales of sex". 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2015.