Jordan Bardella, the privileged past that embarrasses the leader of the French right: lies about his difficult childhood and the help of his rich father

Long before winning full votes in the first round of France's legislative elections, Jordan Bardella had to fight against poor grades that led him to drop out of university. The past of the leader of the National Rally is apparently very different from how he has told it so far. Today, Marine Le Pen's 28-year-old successor describes himself as a self-taught politician, despite his modest origins in a tough neighborhood. Last April, he told France 2 that he grew up with his mother in the working-class neighborhood of Saint-Denis: “I found myself facing violence, seeing my mother unable to make ends meet.” He then recounts that at 16 he decided to join the far-right party, after the riots in the French suburbs in 2005. Two years later, he dropped out of university geography studies to devote himself body and soul to politics. From there begins a career that leads him to become a press advisor, then spokesperson and vice-president of the party. And therefore head of the list at the 2019 European Championships at the age of 23. And then in 2023, he is elected thanks to the success of Marine Le Pen at the head of the party.

Bad grades at university

However, there are various reconstructions that deny Bardella's story. The latest comes from the satirical magazine Le Canard enchaîné, which revealed his terrible academic results at the Sorbonne. So low that it did not allow him to obtain his degree. But strangely he managed to get hired at the time with a contract as a parliamentary assistant for the RN. With a salary 2.5 times higher than the minimum wage, despite working part-time.

Help from his rich father

In an unauthorized biography by investigative journalist Pierre-Stéphane Fort, Bardella's childhood seems much less complicated. The RN leader is said to have lived between his mother's and father's houses in the much wealthier town of Montmorency, a suburb north of Paris. His father was wealthy and ran a drinks distribution company. Details that Bardella had to suppress, however, so as not to contradict his self-made man story. As a teenager, he attended private Catholic schools. And with his father, he also undertook a long trip to the United States. Fort later tells Euronews: “At 19, his father bought him a smart car. At 20, he gave his son an apartment in a wealthy Parisian suburb in Val d'Orse. But this was not in line with Jordanian political discourse. So it was canceled.” Le Monde had also looked into Bardella's past and had done some research in Saint-Denis. Some residents had reported seeing him in the area. But few remember whether or not he was interested in politics.

Political career

According to Fort, Bardella's political career was greatly facilitated by his romantic relationship with the daughter of a former RN advisor, Frédéric Châtillon. He is the former president of the Groupe Union Défense (GUD), a far-right student organization dissolved on June 26 by the government.

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