As we all know, the rocker's last wishes were that his entire fortune be grouped into a trust, JPS - for Jean-Philippe Smet and based in California, whose sole beneficiary is his latest wife, Laeticia Hallyday. For almost a year, the elder children of the singer, David Hallyday and Laura Smet, have used California law to contest this testament. The latter demanded that 75% of the royalties earned for each disc sold be blocked, equaling the amount they allege that they should have received as part of their legacy.
However, on Tuesday, Dec. 18th, the judges decided that only 37.5% of the sales revenue from the posthumous album of the star, owned by Universal, Sony and Warner, would be put into receivership. This percentage corresponds to the shares of David and Laura, 18.5% for each. This decision determined that these funds would not be transferred to the trust for the benefit of Laeticia Hallyday, because according to Mr. Pierre-Jean Douvier, one of David Hallyday's lawyers, the transfer of assets to the trust, " is one-way and irreversible ".
On January 22nd, 2019, the fate of several properties that belonged to Johnny Hallyday, such as his Harley Davidson motorcycles, his luxury cars, and especially the royalties due on the sales of the posthumous album, will be settled by the California justice. However, according to Ms. Carine Piccio, David Hallyday’s lawyer, "if the California justice decides on January 22nd to transfer the rights (...), record companies will no longer retain royalties."
The next stage of this complex issue should be played in Nanterre, where a hearing is scheduled on March 22nd to decide the jurisdiction of the French justice system to settle the dispute of Hallyday’s legacy.