French Judges Hand Out Sentences In Madonna Stage Collapse Case
AFP via Getty Images – A TV grab made on state-owned TV Channel France 3.
It shows firefighters rescuing victims on July 16, 2009, in Marseille’s Stade Velodrome. Some 50 technicians were working to set up the structure, where Madonna was scheduled to perform, July 19, 2009.
A court in Marseille, France, handed out suspended sentences to four individuals in decision-making positions during the stage collapse at the city’s Stade Velodrome on July 16, 2009.
The stage was intended for Madonna’s July 19 performance, three days later, which would have been part of her “Sticky & Sweet” tour – her most successful tour on record based on sales.
However, it collapsed during construction, and it took more than ten years for a court decision to be reached. The trial took place on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Jacqueline Bitton, the former president of Live Nation France, received the most severe sentence: two years suspended imprisonment, a fine of €20,000 ($24,000) and a two-year employment ban, according to a France3 report.
Three more defendants got handed suspended prison sentences: Tim Norman of British staging company Edwin Shirley Group (ESG) was sentenced to two years suspended, and a fine of €15,000. Mathieu Anton of Tours Concept France received an 18-month suspended prison sentence and a €10,000 fine, and Scott Seaton, recruited as a team leader by ESG, was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison sentence.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage – Madonna kicks off her record-setting “Sticky & Sweet” tour.
The opening show took place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Aug. 23, 2008.
Additionally, Live Nation France and Tours Concept France were ordered to pay fines of €150,000 ($180,000) and €50,000 ($60,000), respectively.
Three more defendants were released, including two other ESG executives, as well the manager of Mediaco, the Marseille-based company that owns the crane involved in the accident.
The fatal stage collapse claimed the lives of two individuals, Charles Criscenzo, who was found dead in the wreckage, and Charles Prow, who died of his injuries in hospital. Eight other technicians were injured, one of them committed suicide two years after the tragedy.
Madonna’s “Sticky & Sweet” tour still ranks among the highest-grossing tours of all time with a $411 million take from 3.5 million sold tickets in 2008 and 2009.
It played a huge role in catapulting the iconic singer to the top spot of Pollstar’s Top Female Tours chart of the past decade.