Sophie du Plantier's Husband Was a High-Profile Film Producer in France

Shannon Raphael - Author

Jun. 30 2021, Published 6:01 p.m. ET

'Sophie: A Murder in West Cork'
Source: Netflix

Netflix's latest true crime offering is Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, which details the 1996 killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. The 39-year-old mom of one was visiting her holiday home in Schull, Ireland, for Christmas when she was beaten to death in 1996.

Freelance journalist Ian Bailey was soon labeled as a suspect in the case. He was tried and found guilty in absentia in France in 2019, but there are no plans for him to be extradited.

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While some, including several of Sophie du Plantier's family members, believe that Ian Bailey is responsible for harming the television producer, others think that identity of the real culprit remains unknown.

Sophie du Plantier's husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, was a top movie producer in France when the murder took place. In the three-part docuseries, one of Sophie Du Plantier's cousin, Frédéric Gazeu, alleged that their marriage was on the rocks, and that she had been considering a divorce prior to her holiday in Ireland.

Source: Netflix
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Sophie du Plantier wed her second husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, in 1991.

The Parisian documentary producer had been a single mother to her son from her first marriage, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, when she met Daniel Toscan du Plantier. According to Sophie du Plantier's loved ones, she initially bonded with Daniel du Plantier on an intellectual level. Though they had an age difference of 16 years, they had similar work interests and passions.

He wooed Sophie du Plantier by taking her to film premieres, and the two got married in 1991. Daniel du Plantier had been married twice before, and his wife had also been married previously as well.

However, according to her aunt, Marie-Madeline Opalka, Sophie du Plantier didn't fit into her husband's world. She preferred to be alone rather than to attend high-profile film premieres.

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A few years before she was killed, Sophie du Plantier had an affair, which Daniel du Plantier knew about. The two separated for a time, but she broke off the other relationship and returned to her husband in 1993.

In the docuseries, Sophie du Plantier's son confirmed that she liked leading a private life, which is why she wanted to buy a home in a remote area of Ireland.

Daniel du Plantier reportedly learned of his wife's 1996 murder when he watched the news in France. He had spoken to her hours before she was killed on Dec. 23.

Source: Netflix

Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and Daniel Toscan du Plantier

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In the Netflix series, Frédéric Gazeu alleged that Daniel du Plantier was dealing with financial troubles leading up to his wife's death, and that his demeanor had changed. Daniel du Plantier did not go to Ireland to identify his wife's body.

Though he was in France at the time when the murder occurred, there were always rumors that he had somehow been involved. One long standing theory was that he had hired a hitman to harm his wife. However, charges were never brought against him.

Where is Daniel Toscan du Plantier now?

Sophie du Plantier's second husband passed away in 2003 following complications resulting from a heart attack. He had gotten married for a fourth time in 1998 to Melita Nikolic. The couple had two children together before Daniel du Plantier died.

Sophie: A Murder in West Cork is available to stream on Netflix now.

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