"I attracted the hatred of people my age"

“I attracted the hatred of people my age”

Christophe Willem had a very difficult childhood (Photo by Eric Fougere/Corbis via Getty Images)

Guest of France 2’s “Music Festival”, Christophe Willem promises to delight his fans, delighted to see him back on the front of the stage. His career was a great revenge for the artist, who had a difficult childhood between mourning and school bullying.

“We must fight against this silence that damages and destroys, it takes years to rebuild. Let’s fight against the silence of those who are gradually moving from witnesses to accomplices.” This is what Christophe Willem said in 2019 on Twitter, in reaction to an article on school bullying. The singer, who became known thanks to “La Nouvelle Star” in 2006, has always made the fight against school bullying one of his hobbyhorses. It must be said that, like many children, his own schooling was marked by insults and bullying that were difficult to take for the fragile child that he was.

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The difficult years of Christophe Willem

Very early on, the interpreter of “Double Je” confided in the violence of which he was the victim during his youth. In 2012, guest on Frédéric Lopez’s program “La Parenthese Inexpected”, he spoke with emotion of the way he felt at odds with others: “I was different”, he confessed. facing the camera. “Already, I had a voice, it looked like Castafiore. Afterwards, we will have understood that I was not Rambo. So obviously, I was already mannered.”

However, in the playground, the difference is not always well seen, and children can be particularly naughty, even violent. “In fact, I attracted the hatred of people my age (…) It was going a long way. You can be insulted. ‘…”

He denounces the lack of action of certain adults

On June 20, 2022, Christophe Willem was the guest of the program “Dans le Rétro”, on France Bleu. The opportunity for him to come back again to the subject of violence at school… And the lack of reaction from adults and teachers: “I really suffered bullying at school head-on, in a way quite violent. But the most violent thing isn’t so much the act because we are all the same in the most total immaturity at that time, it’s the non-reaction of the adults around. which is very violent.” Moreover, for him, repeating a class in college was a real nightmare: “It was not repeating a year that was a nightmare, it was a nightmare to stay another year.”

A difficult period, therefore, but which pushed him to protect himself, to forge a real shell. “It’s true that it marked me a lot. Today, I have a very independent temperament because I had to face things alone, because there was no adult to take me my defence. It’s true that sometimes, in the way I work, I’m very independent because when I feel like I’m depending on others, it’s very difficult for me.”

A childhood marked by drama

Especially since school bullying is not the only tragedy that marked the childhood of Christophe Willem. When the singer was only 6 years old, he lost his grandfather to whom he was so close, in a very brutal way. He told the Swiss newspaper Le Matin: “My biggest shock was the death of my grandfather. I was 6 years old and he left us on December 31. We were at my grandmother’s with the family, we literally went from laughter to tears.” A drama that was followed by years of school bullying, and the combination of which could have had disastrous effects on his mental health, even if today he has managed to find the recipe for happiness.


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