French singer Bertrand Cantat, who was convicted of killing his girlfriend, the French actress Marie Trintignant, in 2003, will not perform at any summer music festivals this year. An online petition urging the Normandy music festival Papillons de Nuit to sustain from promoting violence against women by removing the singer from this year’s lineup ranked in over 70,000 signatures (Earlier this month, the festival said that the decision to include Cantat was based solely on his artistic merit.)
This week, on Monday, Cantat released a statement on Facebook announcing that he is dropping out of all summer music festival appearances this year to take the pressure off of organizers. The Guardian reported that two other music festivals had already decided to remove Cantat from their lineups. However, Cantat also told Paris news agency the Agence France Presse that he will still be touring in support of his solo album, Amor Fati, released in 2017.
Cantat, who was sentenced to eight years of prison for Trintignant’s death, was released in 2007 on parole after serving four years—and announced he wanted to release new material shortly after. In 2011, Marie’s father, the French art-house director Jean-Louise Trintignant pulled out of a theatre festival when Cantat was also listed on the lineup. Jean-Louise told the press: “Why can’t people understand that there’s something terrible in his way of coming back as if nothing has happened?”
Marie died at the age of 41 of a skull fracture, following an argument with Cantat in a hotel room in Lithuania. According to Cantat’s version of the events, he says Marie fell and fatally hit her head on a radiator, although he admits to hitting her four times before that. In 2004, a Lithuanian court convicted Cantat of “murder with indirect intent, meaning it believed he had not wanted to kill his partner but had knowingly done so anyway,” according to the Guardian.
We will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.