Asterix creator embroiled in family feud after sacking daughter

One of the funniest and most popular Asterix comic books tells how money and a few carefully chosen words can tear relatives and friends apart.

Albert Uderzo, 83, co-creator of the indomitable Gaul and his giant side-kick, is going through a real-life, but unfunny, remake of Astérix et La Zizanie (Literally, "Asterix and the Big Feud").

His only child, Sylvie Uderzo, 54, has started a legal action to have her parents declared mentally incapable of running their affairs. In the latest twist in a long family quarrel, she accused their advisers yesterday of "abusing" her father and mother's "weakness" and "pillaging" and "destroying an entire family".

Mr Uderzo responded by accusing his daughter and her husband of "legal harassment". In a statement issued by his lawyers, he accused them of "failing to accept" his decision to remove them from senior positions in his publishing company in 2007. "We are deeply saddened that our only daughter should display her ingratitude to her parents so publicly," he said. In the 15th Asterix book, the "zizanie" – a massive feud over money – is solved, as usual, through the use of a magic potion and a village feast. However, no magic potion, it seems, can cure this family's feud.

In an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien yesterday, Ms Uderzo said her father and mother had fallen under the influence of "fraudsters". She said her legal action was not just about money but to "prove" to her father that he had been abused so that "he is prepared to lay eyes on me once again". Ms Uderzo's legal action is, initially, against "X", or persons unknown. In her interview yesterday, she criticised, but did not name, her father's "plumber", who had "gradually become [his] most trusted adviser".

She accused the plumber of, among other things, persuading Mr Uderzo to carry out "pharaonic" works at his country home and buying an old Mirage fighter-bomber, which was "locked away in a hangar". Ms Uderzo also criticised a notary, whom she said had taken over her parents' business affairs. The notary was, said Ms Uderzo, accused of fraud in another case.

The comic exploits of the tiny Gaul and his gigantic friend Obelix have been translated into 107 languages and have sold 325 million copies worldwide. Mr Uderzo was initially the artist. His friend and partner, René Goscinny, wrote the stories and dialogues. Mr Uderzo created new books on his own after Mr Goscinny's death in 1977.

The family feud came to light in 2008 when Albert Uderzo sold his publishing company and his share of the Asterix rights to France's biggest publisher, Hachette. He also agreed – reversing a previous commitment – that other writers and artists could extend the Asterix series after his death.

In an open letter to Le Monde, his daughter accused him of "betraying" the spirit of Asterix by selling off a "symbol of France's cultural heritage" to a company "driven mostly by profit". Mr Uderzo responded that he had fired his daughter and her husband because of their "filial ingratitude and obsession with money".

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate / Junior C# Developer

£18000 - £25000 Per Annum + bonus and benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Nursery Workers x3

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Workers x 3 Greater Manches...

Part Time SEN 1:1 Teacher

£40 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experience SEN Te...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits