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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
French rocker sues over sex claims
Johnny Hallyday
Celebrations in France heralded Hallyday's 60th birthday in June
French rock icon Johnny Hallyday is suing a woman who worked as a hostess on his yacht after she claimed he sexually assaulted her.

The woman, 34, said the singer went into her cabin and assaulted her while the yacht was moored off Cannes in April 2001.

But Hallyday, 60, said the claims were baseless and he filed a slander complaint earlier this month, his lawyer said.

A second complaint has been made for attempted blackmail and extortion.

Long career

Hallyday's lawyers said someone acting on the woman's behalf requested $3.3m (2m) in exchange for dropping the charges.

They said he had come up against other similar allegations during his 43-year career.

Hallyday is one of France's biggest stars, and is credited with introducing the country to rock and roll with versions of songs such as Let's Twist Again and Tutti Frutti.

His 60th birthday celebrations in June included a stadium concert in front of President Jacques Chirac - but he has struggled to achieve such success elsewhere in the world.

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