Doherty, whose band The Libertines are performing together once again after an acrimonous split, has set up a new life for himself in France, but not exactly where most would have expected him to end up.
While you could easily imagine Doherty hanging out in the bars of the Marais or wandering the streets in the hipster hoods around Canal St Martin, the rocker has instead opted for a commuter town with an unflattering reputation.
In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper he let the bombshell drop.
“I live in Melun,” he said. “There was too much chaos around my life in Paris.”
In the interview, during which he shocked the interviewer by standing up and taking a pee in public, Doherty said Paris life was just too much for him.
“I have more space in Melun. My partner and her family are French. And here I like to buy old things in the antique markets and play pétanque in my garden,” he said.
With no disrespect to the town on the river Seine to the south east of Paris, it is probably the last place you would expect a rock star of Doherty’s fame and notoriety to live.
Sleepy Melun is more likely to be in the headlines because of a crime rather than anything positive.
Perhaps the equivalent would be if France’s own bad boy singer Serge Gainsbourg had announced back in the day that he had moved to the famously soulless London suburb of Croydon (apologies Croydon, you’re just an easy target right now).
(Downtown Melun. Photo David Fleg)
And the French Twittershere agrees, with Melun topping the trending lists in Paris on Monday as music fans digested the bizarre news.
One tweet, which we can't embed unfortunately seemed to sum up the reaction. It reads: “What the f**k, Pete Doherty lives in Melun. I am shocked.”
Another joked that his choice of new home proved that all those drugs had had a long term impact.
Pete Doherty a déménagé à Melun et joue à la pétanque dans son jardin. Si après ça vous n'êtes pas convaincus des ravages de la drogue…
— La Mort (@LaMortLaVraie) September 21, 2015
Some on Twitter questioned his choice of home and said he'd be better off elsewhere in France.
— LaCrèmeDesLimousins (@LaiterieFayes) September 21, 2015
One Tweeter even joked that Melun would soon be being described as the “new Brooklyn.”
J'attends avec impatience les articles “Melun, le nouveau Brooklyn” pic.twitter.com/yzYRZtWNXr
— Cerise OnTheCake (@ceriseonthecake) September 21, 2015
French news sites were also stunned with most running the story about Doherty having upped sticks and left Paris for Melun.
And it is also known for being one of the homes of the famous Brie cheese.
Melun is all the hype. Let's go and buy Brie at the Carrefour Market on the Mail Gaillardon.
— Bidibulina (@Bidibulina) September 21, 2015
The former partner of Kate Moss has given up drugs and alcohol but not rock n' roll.
His surprise comeback is being handled carefully, however, by Doherty’s management who fear any setbacks could lead to further health problems.
A recent show in London had to cancelled after Doherty suffered a “serious panic attack” on stage.”