When Serge Lama does not sing about love, he evokes his intimate and personal stories. Never stingy with secrets about his private life, the singer who will soon celebrate his 80th birthday in February 2023 has shared the lives of several women. As he published his latest opus Aimer this year, he took the opportunity to share a few anecdotes.
Like last December 5 when the artist and comedian was pouring out his love life in Télé Star. “I was lucky during my sexual and love life. Suzanne Gabriello, who was (Jacques) Brel’s mistress, taught me things about sex”. If the septuagenarian was not in a relationship with the latter, it was another teacher who marked his first relationship with love.
Before becoming famous, Serge Chauvier fell in love with his English teacher during his high school years. “I hated English and, ironically, it was my English teacher who taught me love. She was in her forties and I was madly in love with her perfume, her bracelets. So, I ‘did everything to seduce her,’ he told OK magazine in 1979! A brief secret idyll that ended before the summer holidays, as biographer Lomig Guillo explains to us.
“Today it would seem more problematic. At the time, we are in the 50s … It would almost be a scandal these days”, tells Planet the author of the biography Chanter pour vivre, published in November 2020. Despite this heartache, Serge Lama fell in love with another woman. A relationship that, however, took a dramatic turn.
At the start of his career, in the mid-1960s, singer Serge Lama had his first successes. On the strength of his popularity, he was happy in his love life on the arm of a certain Liliane Benelli. Pianist for singer Barbara, the young woman was also the singer’s fiancée. When the perfect love was needed, a terrible tragedy darkened the life of the star.
In 1965, the engaged couple was on tour with a troupe of singers in the four corners of France. Taken by their driver, Jean-Claude Ghrenassia, the brother of Enrico Macias, they are victims of a terrible car accident. A drama in which Liliane Benelli lost her life as well as their driver, while Serge Lama miraculously survived. “A fracture in his life from every point of view”, as biographer Lomig Guillo reminded us.
“Throughout his life, he was brought back to this accident. That’s what gave him his unique walk. It also shows the strength of the character. While he was totally broken by this accident, he managed to get back on stage and pursue his dream of doing L’Olympia”, the author told us. After coming close to death, Serge Lama remains scarred for life by the death of his first love. It will take him several years to climb the slope from a sentimental point of view, with another woman who mattered to him.
After the disappearance of his fiancée, Serge Lama reconnects with happiness in the arms of Daisy Brun. Between the singer and the press officer, love at first sight was immediate and the couple married in December 1968. But, at the end of the decade, the artist met Michèle Potier.
Married and mother of a child, the one who officiated at Club Med would have maintained a brief romance with the singer before returning to her husband. Some time later, the young woman put an end to her marriage and returned to Serge Lama, who had not officially divorced his wife Daisy. So they decide to live their adultery each at home, as the singer would have indicated. “We have always lived separately. Michèle had become my confidant. Love had turned into friendship, into great loyalty”, revealed the artist for Paris Match in 2021.
In September 1981, Michèle Potier gave birth to their son Frédéric. A hidden child that Serge Lama preferred to isolate from media life while his mother lived as a recluse in Corsica. It was not until two years later that their son’s birth would be made public in VSD magazine, which headlined its following cover: “Lama had a secret well hidden for twenty months, the child he had had from Michele, his companion. This is his son, Frédéric”.
After this revelation, Serge Lama divorced his wife Daisy Brun to live his relationship with the mother of his son. “He often said that he had not been a very present father. He was on tour a lot, but today things are going, a priori, rather well with his son. He is also a grandfather” , notably told the writer Lomig Guillo for Planet. In June 1991, Michèle Potier married the singer and performer of I am sick. A long story that continued until the death of the latter in October 2016, following a stroke. Five years after his death, the actor has found a smile alongside a close collaborator…
Discreet about his private life since the death of his wife, Serge Lama was close to his assistant Luana Santonino, 44 years old. From their professional relationship, the artist and the manager forged a certain friendship that turned into a love story. In February 2021, before his 78th birthday, the French singer married his partner during an intimate ceremony at the town hall of the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
In an interview with Audrey Crespo-Mara in the program Seven to eight, Serge Lama evoked their couple on TF1. “She is my one and last love, which is built on solid foundations,” he confided before continuing. “I wonder every day what life I’m giving her. I thought, ‘But you’re selfish. This girl is young, and then you’re going to hurt her when you disappear, etc.’ She was stronger that me and she convinced me to stay by her side. I see in her eyes that she is happy with me”, concludes the star in front of the journalist.