It began when one of Delon's bodyguards, Stevan Marković, was found dead, causing his brother to start a feud with Delon and his friends, one of whom was the French President, Georges Pompidou. Both Delon and his long-standing friend François Marcantoni were questioned by the police immediately after the murder. Marcantoni was originally charged for the murder, but after further questioning by the police, he was released. Later, the drama continued when supposedly inappropriate photos of Madame Pompidou were found. Commissionaire Aimé-Blanc, who was involved in obtaining the photos, stated that they were planted by old Gaullist clans who had long-term animosity against Pompidou. This led to controversy over whether the photos were real. Marković's murder was never solved.
Life and death of Stevan Marković
Marković was the ex-bodyguard of movie star Alain Delon. A major gambler often suspected of cheating, Marković was especially known for throwing high class parties where, it is alleged, he would set up cameras throughout the house, especially in the bedrooms. He had thus collected plenty of questionable photos of the guests, which could have damaged their social status. These pictures most likely were used for blackmail, especially since he approached several newspapers trying to sell them. Surprisingly, some of these photographs were alleged to be directly targeting Delon and Marcantoni themselves. However, the most important photos Marković supposedly possessed, were scandalous shots of Pompidou’s wife. This was a major concern to Pompidou since he was preparing to run for France's presidency. Then on October 1, 1968, in the village of Élancourt, Yvelines, on the western outskirts of Paris, the body of Stevan Marković was found in a public dump. Although there were many people who had reason to kill him, his murder has never been solved.
Involving Alain Delon and François Marcantoni
It was alleged that star actor Alain Delon communicated with French gangsters, such as Z, Bimbo, and Petit René. Suspiciously, many of them met violent deaths after meeting Delon. However, Corsican François Marcantoni was Delon’s closest gangster friend. When Delon's bodyguard, Marković, mysteriously died, Marcantoni and Delon came under investigation. One of the factors pointing in that direction was a letter of Stevan Marković to his brother Aleksandar where he wrote: "If I get killed, it's 100% fault of Alain Delon and his godfather Francois Marcantoni." Marcantoni was initially charged with the murder. However, after being questioned by the police, the charges were eventually dropped and the crime was never solved.
Involving Georges Pompidou
The death of Stevan Marković provoked a great deal of rumors, many suggesting the existence of group sex photos with Pompidou's wife. Pompidou was running his campaign for presidency during the time of these rumors, and wanted to dispel them as soon as possible. He formally told the public that all the talk concerning the Marković affair were rumors. Pompidou himself accused Louis Wallon and Henri Capitant for using the French espionage service SDECE with an aim to set him up. He testified that he was present at parties with his wife, Stevan Marković and Alain Delon. However, there are many theories that Pompidou ordered Marković's murder for revenge against the supposed photos of his wife. Even though he claimed the lady in the photos was a prostitute who simply bore a strong resemblance to his wife in physical appearance, the rumors of the photos would still hurt his campaign. After becoming President of the Republic, he named Alexandre de Marenches as the head of the SDECE in order to reform it.
Madame Pompidou's involvement
The Marković affair was a play to ruin Georges Pompidou's reputation by hurting the public image of his wife. There were alleged compromising photos of Madame Pompidou. Later, information showed that it was not actually Mme. Pompidou in the photos, but a prostitute who was hired by the ex-head of police Luicien Aimé-Blanc. Aimé-Blanc had long time relations with the intelligence agency the SDECE. An anonymous friend of Amié-Blanc asked him to produce a prostitute who was blonde and in her forties, but Aimé-Blanc did not know that this woman would be used as Madame Pompidou's doppelgänger. This prostitute was then photographed in compromising positions with another woman. These photos were found in Marković's car, after his body had been found. However, no one still knows whether it was the prostitute or Madame Pompidou.
Bernard Violet’s Les Mystères Delon' is a book about Alain Delon published in 2000. It was the first book in French legal history to have been banned before it was officially allowed to be sold, allegedly because Delon (the only remaining person associated with the Marković affair who is still alive) did not approve of it; however, it was still sold in France.
- Jon Henley, "Nervous publisher sneaks biography of Delon into shops" The Guardian, September 29, 2000
- Malcolm Anderson, In Thrall To Political Change: Police And Gendarmerie In France. (Oxford: Oxford, 2011), 237.
- Paul Ghali, "Marković Affair: Paris 'Dolce Vita' A web of Murder, Sex and Politics" The Pittsburgh Press, April 14, 1969.