April 6, 2011 / 2:39 AM / 8 years ago

Killer rock star gets Canadian stage gig

French singer Bertrand Cantat leaves after funeral services for late French singer Alain Bashung at the Saint-Germain-des-Pres church in Paris March 20, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Former French rock star Bertrand Cantat has landed a controversial live theater gig in Montreal after serving four years in prison for the 2003 beating death of his actress girlfriend.

The former lead singer of the French rock band Noir Desir is to play a singer in a classical Greek play at Le Theater du Nouveau Monde in May 2012.

“We are aware that Bernard Cantat is a controversial figure, but we believe that he has paid for what he did,” Lorraine Pintal, the theater’s director, told La Presse newspaper on Tuesday.

News of Cantat’s hire brought immediate condemnation from womens’ rights groups.

“We are quite perplexed about this choice,” Manon Monastesse, director of a consortium of 37 women’s shelters in Quebec, told the Canadian Press news service.

Cantat was released from prison in 2008 after serving half of an eight-year sentence for manslaughter. He maintained that the fatal blow that cost popular actress Marie Trintignant her life had been an accident.

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