This is one of the biggest injuries in Johnny Hallyday’s life. When the singer was only 8 months old, his father, Léon Smet, made the decision to leave the family home. An abandonment from which the Taulier will never recover. In his autobiography, Jean-Philippe Smet will write thus: “ Not having had a father marked my whole life. “I did not know him, except in unpleasant moments. He was an alcoholic, seducer, unmanageable and a great artist “, added the artist during an interview with the Sunday newspaper in 2014.
However, Johnny Hallyday remained hopeful about his relationship with his father. In May 1965, he even decided to resume contact. At the time, he was in his twenties and about to do his military service in the barracks of Offenburg, Germany. Unfortunately, the meeting does not go as planned. Indeed, Léon Smet will choose to invite the press in exchange for 5000 francs. ” He’s only been interested in me since my success. I will never have any sympathy for that man. But he’s still my father… He’s weak, unstable, but I don’t judge him. I’m just saying he has no rights over me since he didn’t do his duty when I needed him.
Far from holding it against him, the Taulier tries, somehow, to help his father. ” I did what I could but it wasn’t always easy. I had taken him an apartment and I receive phone calls to tell me that he had set fire »… During an interview for Belgian television in the 80s, Johnny’s words were confirmed. Without holding back, Léon Smet proclaims loud and clear, facing the camera: “ He lives his life, he succeeded brilliantly, I wish him all the happiness but apart from that I don’t care “. A shocking statement to say the least.