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French movie star Delon in Miss France bust-up

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French movie star Delon in Miss France bust-up
Alain Delon, pictured with French beauty pageant Marine Lorphelin for the screening of the film "Zulu", has quit Miss France committee over far-right row. Photo: Anne Christine Poujoulat/AFP
18:22 CEST+02:00
French movie star Alain Delon launched a tirade at the Miss France beauty committee on Friday after members had attacked him for supporting the far-right National Front. Delon then announced he was quitting as honory president of the committee.

French movie star Alain Delon said Friday he was quitting as honorary president of the Miss France beauty contest committee after it berated him for backing the far-right National Front party.

"Your committee thought it was good to react publicly," the 77-year-old actor said in a scathing letter.

"Your diatribe is as absurd as it is narcissistic and obsessive. Your attitude shows contempt for your public, which has a right to vote for who they want," he said in the letter, seen by AFP.

"As a result, I am officially resigning from my post as honorary president for life of the Miss France committee," Delon said.

The veteran star, whose career spans five decades and includes "Rocco and His Brothers" and "The Leopard", had said in an interview to Swiss newspaper Le Matin that the "National Front is taking a very important place and I approve of it, I support it and I understand it very well".

"For years, the Le Pen father and daughter team (Jean-Marie, the founder of the National Front, and Marine, its current leader) have been fighting, but they've been fighting a lonely battle," he said.

"Now, for the first time, they are no longer alone. They have the French people."

That provoked a tongue-lashing from the organisers of the contest, who said Delon had been chosen only because of his acting skills and international stature and distanced themselves from his comments.

It asked jury members as well as contestants not to reveal "their political, religious or ideological" leanings.

The anti-immigration National Front won a key by-election last weekend and is trying to shed its image of a xenophobic party.

On Friday, the party dropped a candidate for municipal elections next year after she compared France's black justice minister to a monkey.

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