Alain Montpetit

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Alain Montpetit (September 24, 1950 – July 15, 1987) was a television and radio personality in Quebec, as well as an actor.

Montpetit was a native of Westmount, where he was born and where he grew up. His grandfather was Édouard Montpetit, founder of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Montreal. He was the son of André Montpetit, a prominent labour lawyer, founding chair of the board of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal and a judge of the Quebec Superior Court, chairing the Commission of Inquiry into Working Conditions in the Post Office 1966.

He studied at the National Theatre School of Canada and UCLA. During his days in the United States, he worked at KMET/Los Angeles, California and ran a pirate radio station near the US/Canadian border. On his return to Montreal, in the early 1970s he became a full-time airstaffer at CKGM. After that stint at the Top 40 AM outlet, he would take the offer of being the host of a radio show on CKMF-FM at the start of the fashion for disco. Thanks to the station's emphasis on disco, it went from 48,000 listeners to around 500,000. Montpetit was also hired to host a disco dance show on Montréal's private French-language TV station, Télé-Métropole.

According to François Roy, a friend and work colleague at the time, Montpetit did not particularly like disco music. However, he took advantage of the opportunity and was known as Montreal's "King of Disco", accepting sizable payment in cash or drugs from various club owners for spending time at their establishments.

Although Montpetit was married to classical ballet dancer Nanci Moretti and had an infant daughter, he had brief encounters with many other women. He had a more serious affair with Paule Charbonneau. One of Charbonneau’s friends was Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine, a model from Montreal with the Elite agency, who was to move to New York City. On a visit back to Quebec in June 1982, Saint-Antoine convinced her friend to break with Montpetit and communicated this decision to him.

Saint-Antoine was stabbed to death, on 17 June 1982, upon her return to New York City. Strong circumstantial evidence ties Montpetit to this murder. Among other things, he gave an alibi to police which, much later, was revealed to be false. A witness saw a man who looked like him with Saint-Antoine shortly before she was killed. Upon a reinvestigation of the case years later, two women also described to New York police how Montpetit had confessed the crime to them.

Douglas Coco Leopold, who also worked for CKMF and was a prominent disco radio and TV personality, accused Montpetit of the murder on the air. Montpetit sued Leopold for defamation and the case was settled out of court.

In June 1987, Montpetit went on air while he was evidently under the influence, as he had on some other occasions. The manager of the station had to have him physically removed from the studio. Montpetit continued to react violently when he was told that he was fired. He travelled to Washington, D.C. to join his mistress Jackie Lee, a disc jockey. He was found dead of an overdose in a Washington hotel room (at thirty-six years of age).

A fictionalised version of Montpetit, played by Patrick Huard, is one of the central characters in the 2010 Canadian film Funkytown.

References[edit]

  • Petrowski, Nathalie "L'Affaire Alain Montpetit: Comme un train furieux dans la nuit...", La Presse (Montréal), 24 November 2002, p. A6
  • Houde, François "Côtoyer une étoile filante: François Roy a bien connu Alain Montpetit", Le Nouvelliste (Trois-Rivières), 29 January 2011, p. E7
  • "Nouveaux témoins contre Montpetit", Le Soleil (Quebec, Quebec), 8 December 2002, p. A5
  • Therrien, Richard "Descente aux enfers", Le Soleil (Quebec, Quebec), 20 March 2003, p. B2

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