At 49, Francois-Henri Pinault is a dad for the fourth time—but not with his wife, superstar Salma Hayek. A Manhattan court this week confirmed to the New York Post that Pinault is also the father of supermodel Linda Evangelista's four-year-old son, Augustin.
Pinault, a billionaire fashion industry titan, already has a four-year-old child, named Valentina, by Hayek. The couple wed in 2008, after a tumultuous courtship and a briefly broken engagement. Now we may know why they almost didn't last.
Pinault's a player.
Linked to everyone from Nicole Kidman to French Cabinet member Rachida Dati, Pinault is no stranger to paternity accusations. In 2009, Pinault was rumored to be the father of Dati's daughter, which he denied. Back in 2006, when Evangelista became pregnant and would not reveal the father's identity, his name was first on the list. The pair had dated during a hiatus from his romance with Hayek, but by 2007, he'd reconciled with the Oscar-nominated actress, who was pregnant with his child. Hayek gave birth to Valentina in September of 2007, eleven months after Evangelista delivered Augustin.
As suspicions of a Pinault-Hayek-Evangelista love triangle boiled over, Hayek and Pinault briefly called off their wedding. But by 2008 they tied the knot and had a second very public ceremony the following year.
As heir to a $7 billion family fortune and CEO of the Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Yves Saint Laurent conglomerate, the Frenchman has grown up around supermodels and superstars. After two children and a failed first marriage, he embraced his role as international playboy courting Evangelista, and then Hayek.
So what's the big appeal of a middle-aged man born with a silver spoon and a wandering eye? He may have billions, but neither Hayek nor Evangelista need the money, nor the access to designer 'it' bags.
But there's something about Pinault the ladies just love.
He's got good instincts in business, according to industry insiders who spoke with CNN in 2009. The article, crowning him "the new king of luxury", hints at leadership abilities beyond the standard track of a trust-fund kid. In other words, he's alpha.
Then there's his looks: regal blue eyes, grizzly, boyish smirk, and the style of a modern-day James Bond. In fact, he almost looks like the brother of Daniel Craig, give or take ten years.
He's also got all the Bond trappings: an Aston Martin in his younger days, and now a more contempory-conscious Lexus Hybrid. He collects rare, extremely expensive watches and has a passion for physical combat, specifically boxing. He's also a savant with card tricks, smooth with his hand as any double agent in a Monte Carlo casino.
His friends call him humble, according to CNN. But when it comes to the world's most beautiful women, Pinault humble isn't the world that comes to mind. "Think like a strategist; act as an animal," is the Pinault family business model. That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?