Friday, April 12, 2024

Cannes Jewelry Heist: “We Have Insurance and it’s Great Publicity”


This year’s Cannes Film Festival–from which I have now escaped–has been full of jewelry heists. And they are much publicized. First Chopard announced they’d lost a million dollars worth of baubles from a safe in a off the path hotel. Then De Grisogono, not to be left out, said they’d had a $2.6 million necklace stolen from them.

Are these people serious?

First of all, twice I asked Chopard’s much loved chief, Caroline Scheufle, if there had been any news of the jewels since the theft — in which a safe was allegedly cut of out of a hotel room and removed in whole–had occurred earlier in the week.

She said, each time: “We have plenty of insurance. It’s great publicity. It’s no big deal.”

And that’s true. A million dollars to Chopard is walking around money. And Caroline did say, “Everyone knows Chopard now.”

But then: De Griosogno, run by Caroline’s ex husband Fawaz Gruosi, had their theft on Wednesday night during their big soiree at the Eden Roc in the Hotel du Cap. Both Sharon Stone and Leonardo DiCaprio were in attendance. Somehow, with locks, alarms and security teams, someone knocked off a $2.6 mil diamond necklace.

What’s going on here? Chopard – the jewelry company that rules Cannes– may have felt that they were being overshadowed. Tiffany and Co, came in as a sponsor of all things Great Gatsby for opening night. They’d never done that before. The Chopard response to the burglary was bizarre enough to get Croisette tongues wagging. Cannes Film Festival is all about p.r. and hype.

And De Grisogono? Schuefle married Gruosi in 1985. In 1993 he started De Grisogono. Shortly after establishing that brand, the couple divorced. They are now rivals on the Croisette for attention, although Chopard is much better known. It’s not a shock that De Grisogono jumped on the burglary bandwagon.

Will these crimes ever be solved? Doubtful. Cannes has always been subject to crime. A few years ago, producer Graham King was burgled at the Hotel du Cap. It happens. Thieves follow drivers and expensive cars from the airport to hotels, and size them up.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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