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Renault probes Carlos Ghosn’s lavish Versailles wedding for misused funds

10 February 2019

Ghosn threw an extravagant Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at Versailles to celebrate his second marriage which featured actors in 18th-century clothing.

"We wanted it to feel as if we were inviting guests into our home - nothing too studied", Carole Ghosn told Town & Country magazine a few months later when it published photos of the wedding.

"As part of compliance audits initiated. on November 23, 2018, it was identified that a contribution of €50,000, under a sponsorship agreement signed with the Château de Versailles, was allocated to Mr. Ghosn's personal benefit", said Renault.

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Ghosn's arrest and continued detention marked a stunning fall from grace for an executive widely credited with forging the Renault and Nissan alliance into the world's top-selling automotive group.

Renault said that a company investigation had found Ghosn personally benefited from "an exchange worth 50,000 euro in the framework of a philanthropic accord" with Versailles. Renault said it was alerting French judicial authorities. Ghosn remains in detention in Tokyo with limited opportunity to respond publicly to allegations against him. The carmaker alerted French authorities and the prosecutors' office has yet to decide about starting an investigation.

"The event space at Versailles was made available to him without charge and Mr. Ghosn was unaware that the use of the space would be charged against Renault's allotted usage", he wrote in the email. "Contrary to the accusations made by the prosecutors, I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed". It's obvious: it's a story of betrayal.

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A Ghosn family spokeswoman, Devon Spurgeon, said he'll pay back costs and also denied a report in Les Echos newspaper that another palace soiree in 2014 was planned around his 60th birthday.

Ghosn was the lynchpin of the three-way alliance, earning industry plaudits for driving together a sometimes fractious threesome with headquarters 10,000 kilometres apart.

Renault holds a 43-percent stake in Nissan along with voting rights, while the latter owns only a 15-percent non-voting stake in the former.

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Renault probes Carlos Ghosn’s lavish Versailles wedding for misused funds