On this national holiday evening, who better than Stéphane Bern to officiate in the public service? At the controls of the “Concert de Paris” broadcast on France 2 this Thursday, July 14, 2022, Stéphane Bern takes up a new challenge. An essential character on the French small screen, he recently made more intimate secrets about his childhood, and especially his complicated relationship with his mother, with whom he was never really able to talk about his homosexuality.
Stéphane Bern is a special being, often where you least expect him. Passionate about history from an early age, and fierce defender of French heritage, he also hides childhood flaws and sorrows which he rarely talks about. If he is now well in his skin, and he has never made any secret around his homosexuality, it has not always been easy for the young man he was. Especially vis-à-vis his mother who is very authoritarian and not really willing to listen to her child.
Video. Stéphane Bern tells what destroyed his life as a couple
Stéphane Bern’s homosexuality has always been taboo with his mother
Stéphane Bern’s mother, who was named Melita Schlanger, was of Polish origin. As an interpreter, she was fluent in five languages and very quickly wanted to pass on her knowledge to her son. Not always in a tender and benevolent way. “Can you imagine that when I was revising my English or German lessons, I took full face yes” confided Stéphane Bern in Seven to Eight on TF1, in January 2022. In this interview, the host had returned on the profile of this authoritarian mother, herself brought up rigidly by a Prussian father. At home, the key word: perfection. Even if it means having to bend under the blows, as Stéphane Bern remembers: “I was beaten when it was necessary, because at the time corporal punishment existed. And, I have not known a day without taking a slap.” This atmosphere has in no way tainted the love that Stéphane Bern has always felt for his “castrating” mother, but who has brought him a lot of “tenderness too.”
However, there was a taboo subject at home: the homosexuality of Stéphane Bern. “She said to me: ‘I prefer that we don’t talk about it’, but she knew. Mothers always know” he recalled on TF1. Before his death from diabetes in 1992, Stéphane Bern’s mother systematically refused to talk about his son’s sexuality. And the latter also accepted her decision: “She always said to me, ‘You will do what you want after me.’ I never wanted to shock her, I always made sure she wasn’t confronted too much with things in my life, personal things.” In 2018, in the program Le Divan by Marc-Olivier Fogiel, Stéphane Bern had looked into this great taboo with his mother around his sexuality: “Impossible to talk to my mother about it. She told me, but I think that she didn’t think so, well I hope, that she preferred to see me dead than homo.”
Video. “I never wanted to shock her”: Stéphane Bern reveals that he never discussed his sexuality with his mother
“Everything I do on TV, in my professional life, is to please him”
But make no mistake: Stéphane Bern has always loved his mother. Even today, he continues to make it exist. In a more or less mystical way. “She is there, every day, with me. My dead live with me! They are permanently in me. I live with my Pantheon. I love them” he confided to Audrey Crespo-Mara on TF1, the lumpy throat and tears at the edge of the eyes. Stéphane Bern has never hidden it: he firmly believes in the signs of the beyond, where his mother and grandmother watch over him every day. In 2017, the host did not hesitate for a second to lend himself to a session with a medium organized by the magazine Télé Star. “I believe in life after death, I believe in any case that everyone is connected,” he confided before his big interview.
A few minutes later, the medium had claimed to have come into contact with the mother of Stéphane Bern: “She just spoke to me at the moment and told me that she liked this place”, he dropped, specifying to the host the “problem with the eyes” of his mother. “’Tell my son I loved him.’ She said to me: ‘We can see you from up there, don’t think we can’t see you’.”
Very touched by this moment out of time, Stéphane Bern had a hard time containing his emotion: “I mastered the blow, but it was emotionally charged enough. I know that my father is very proud, but my mother, unfortunately, didn’t have much time to show it or tell me. Everything I do on TV, in my professional life, on the radio, is just to please him. It makes me happy to hear that she is happy, that she is proud of me.”
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>> Stéphane Bern announces the death of his father and pays tribute to him: “He was the best of fathers”