The rupture is consummated. Host Laurent Ruquier has been ordered by the Paris Commercial Court to pay nearly a million euros in damages to his historic producer Catherine Barma, according to information from Teleramaconfirmed Tuesday, June 21 to Agence France-Presse (AFP) by concordant sources.
The host and Catherine Barma, who for fourteen years produced “We are not lying” (ONPC), Laurent Ruquier’s former talk show, created in 2006 and broadcast until 2020 on France 2, and several others shows with the host (“We tried everything”, “We only ask to laugh about it”, etc.) formed a powerful tandem on the small screen for twenty years, before breaking up with a bang. The presenter had decided to stop ONPC and called on another producer, Philippe Thuillier (who was already producing the TV version of “Big heads”), to create a program launched in September on France 2, “We are live”.
Justice seized in spring 2021
Laurent Ruquier was finally ordered to pay 780,340 euros to Mme Barma to compensate for the loss of margin suffered by its production company “due to insufficient notice of termination” and 219,375 euros “in compensation for economic redundancies caused by the brutality of the break”, according to the judgment pronounced on Monday, which AFP was able to consult. The host intends to appeal this decision, confirmed to AFP Me Céline Astolfe, Laurent Ruquier’s lawyer.
After being insulted by the media interposed after their professional breakup, the host and his ex-producer ended up taking legal action in the spring of 2021. Laurent Ruquier was the first to seize the Paris commercial court, claiming Catherine Barma more than 300,000 euros, a sum he believed to be due to him as a former co-producer of ONPC.
For her part, Catherine Barma, who had unsuccessfully demanded that Laurent Ruquier share the costs generated by the shutdown of the talk show (an event which forced her production company to lay off around thirty people), replied before the same court for “sudden break” of their business relationship.