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When Pierre Cardin died in 2020, he hadn’t discussed the future of his company with his family or others around him. That left the company and Cardin’s estate in an uncertain position, despite his overall brand success and all the accomplishments he’s had as a designer. Now his lack of future planning means that 22 of his grandnieces and grandnephews are locked in a complicated and ongoing legal battle.
Cardin’s long-term partner passed away in 1993, and Cardin didn’t have any children or other direct heirs. Rodrigo, who is the grandson of Cardin’s older brother, insists that he should be the rightful heir. He’s worked for Cardin for more than 20 years, and adopted the Cardin name in 2018. He’s also the current general manager of Pierre Cardin Evolution, which is a holding company, and the artistic director for Cardin’s brand. He’s had the management position since 2020.
The other side of the legal argument involves cousins from six branches of the family, who want to sell the company and split the financial gain from doing so. Several of the potential heirs on that side have filed both criminal and civil complaints against Rodrigo, and have accused him of forgery and elder abuse, among other things. Of course, he denies these claims and continues to insist that he’s the proper heir to Cardin’s company.
With the number of people involved and the complicated nature of these kinds of cases, it could be months or even years before anything is officially decided. Even after a ruling has been made, there are likely to be appeals from anyone who was involved with the case and doesn’t agree with the outcome.
While Rodrigo seems likely to have a claim because he’s related to Cardin, the cousins from other branches of the family may also have some right to at least part of his estate. This is a case that will likely remain complicated and highly charged for as long as it’s part of the legal system, and then may remain problematic in civil court and in the press after that.
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