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A French judge on Tuesday dismissed a claim by the daughter of Asterix artist Albert Uderzo that her father is mentally frail, which has permitted others to exploit his beloved creation.
According to France24, the judge found the 86-year-old Uderzo is “lucid” and “has the full capacity to make decisions.” The lawyer for daughter Sylvie Uderzo said she intends to file an immediate appeal.
The dispute dates back to at least 2007, when Sylvie and her husband Bernard de Choizy were dismissed from their senior positions at Les Éditions Albert René, the publishing company Albert founded in 1979, following the death of Asterix co-creator Rene Goscinny. The family quarrel erupted into the public eye two years later, Uderzo criticized her father’s decision to sell his stake in the company to Hachette Livre and authorize the publisher to continue Asterix after his death.
Writing in the French newspaper Le Monde, Sylvia, who was left with a 40-percent stake in Asterix, accused her father’s advisers of forcing him into “a 180-degree turn” and making him “deny the values with which he brought me up: independence, brotherhood, friendship and resistance.” She followed that in 2011 with a lawsuit seeking to have her parents declared mentally incapable of managing their business affairs. Characterizing the lawsuit as “legal harassment,” Albert fired back last week, accusing Sylvie and her husband of “psychological violence.”
“The sole purpose of these acts is to undermine our psychological integrity and to hasten our debility, in order to get their hands on our legacy, which they covet,” he wrote.
Following Tuesday’s decision, Albert and his wife Ada issued a statement saying they hope the dismissal will “put an end to judicial and media harassment orchestrated by their daughter and her husband Bernard de Choizy.”
Albert Uderzo retired in 2011, saying he’s “a bit tired” after 52 years of drawing. In October, Hachette released Asterix and the Picts, by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad; it’s the first volume not to be written or illustrated by Asterix‘s creators.