A newly elected MP from far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party is being criticized for adding the surname of one of France’s aristocratic families to his own.
Emmanuel Taché de la Pagerie, 47, is being sued by three descendants of the Tascher de la Pagerie family for having appropriated their name.
According to reports, the descendants of one of the oldest aristocratic families fear that their surname will be tainted by the actions of the politician.
On Sunday, he became one of dozens of National Rally deputies to be elected to the National Assembly, where his official identity card was checked and approved by the authorities.
Born in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil, Emmanuel Taché added “de la Pagerie” to his passport almost 30 years ago.
“De La Pagerie has been on my passport for 30 years. It is a common name that has been declared to the prefecture. I have just been elected and I have no time to waste on this kind of subject,” he told the The world newspaper.
According to Me Taché de la Pagerie’s lawyer, Alexandre Varaut, it is “quite normal in the art and communication sectors to use a pseudonym or a first name”.
“The only restriction is that you cannot pass it on to your children,” he said, quoted by AFP news agency.
The male line of the Tascher de la Pagerie family ceased in 1993, and the three women sued the MP as soon as he was elected to office.
Among the descendants of this aristocratic family, the most famous is Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, married to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796.
Frédéric Pichon, who launched the action to protect the family name of the three women, told the French daily that “no civil status document allows Mr. Taché to claim this addition to his name”.
“As long as it was for personal use, it was no problem, but there were leaflets, posters, articles everywhere. This amalgam creates an obvious risk of confusion and harm to the family,” added Mr. Pichon.
Heirs to the aristocratic family are said to have claimed that one of the last wishes of their father, who died in 1993, was to protect his name.
The Tascher de la Pagerie family are seeking symbolic €1 in damages and a fine of €500 (£430) a day if the MP continues to use his name.
The Independent Gt