November 13, 2008 / 6:13 PM / 11 years ago

Rock star killer of French actress issues new songs

French rock singer Bertrand Cantat sits in the dock awaiting the start of his trial in Vilnius, March 16, 2004. REUTERS/Jack Dabaghian

PARIS (Reuters) - A French rock star who was released early from jail after being sentenced for killing his actress girlfriend provoked a storm of controversy Thursday when he and his band posted two new songs on their website.

Bertrand Cantat, of the band Noir Desir, was heavily criticized by French Internet users for seeking to revive his career after serving just half of his eight-year jail term for killing Marie Trintignant.

“That murderer? He dares to speak and even to sing? Poor Marie. What a disgrace,” wrote a woman calling herself “Mounette” on a popular online forum.

Cantat punched and hit Trintignant during a quarrel in a Lithuanian hotel in July 2003. She fell into a coma and died shortly afterwards.

The singer was found guilty of manslaughter by a court in Vilnius and was transferred to France to serve his sentence. He won early release from prison for good behavior in October last year.

Trintignant, the daughter of movie star Jean-Louis Trintignant, was a famous actress in her own right in France and her death caused a deep shock.

Cantat had previously declined to say whether he planned to resume his singing career.

The two new Noir Desir songs posted on the band’s website are “Gagnants/Perdants” (“Winners/Losers”), which comments on the global financial and economic crisis, and “Le temps des cerises” (“The cherry season”), a version of a French classic.

“The song ‘Winners/Losers’ was recorded by Noir Desir in reaction to the current context ... It was impossible to wait before making it public,” the band said on the website.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Matthew Jones

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