In one of the more surreal cases to come before the French courts, an impersonator of the late Serge Gainsbourg went on trial Friday for stabbing a rival who specialises in mimicking veteran rocker Johnny Hallyday.
Denis Colnot, a 48-year-old fan of iconic singer-songwriter Gainsbourg, faces a lengthy prison term after being charged with the attack on his Johnny-loving neighbour that was allegedly triggered by a long-running feud over the quality of their respective acts.
Artistic differences came to a head in July 2011 when ‘Gainsbourg’ decided he could no longer tolerate his rival’s mockery and attacked ‘Johnny’ with a kitchen knife, stabbing him in the neck.
Johnny, identified as Michel P. in court, survived and made a full recovery. He described his neighbour as a “cabbage head” driven by jealousy born of constantly losing to him in impersonation contests.
The judge is due to deliver his verdict on Monday.