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Frenchman weds ex-stepmom after legal battle

The ex-husband, who is the groom's father, was among the wedding guests

Published: Updated:

A former stepson finally tied the knot with his former stepmother this week after a months-long legal fight with the French authorities.

Eric Holder, 45, married his father’s former wife, 48-year-old Elisabeth Lorentz, in the small northeastern village of Dabo in Alsace-Lorraine on Oct. 4.

"At last, it’s the big day!” Lorentz told Agence France Presse. “I simply hope that our story will be useful to other couples in our situation, because I know there are some," said the former stepmother.

The couple, who are not blood-related, defended their case in courts right up to the Elysee Palace, only to receive a signed letter from President Francois Hollande last year re-emphasizing that such marriages are banned under French law. In addition to prohibiting incest, French law bans all unions between stepchildren and stepparents – even former ones.

The couple was finally granted the right to legally marry by a local court in northeast France in June 2014. The prosecutor’s office did not appeal the decision despite opposing it.

Around a hundred guests attended the religious and civil wedding ceremonies – which took place in the town of Dabo – including the ex-husband of the bride, who is also the father of the groom.

"He has always supported us," said Lorentz, referring to her former husband.

Lorentz met her now-husband’s father in 1989 – when she was 24 years old – and together they had a daughter in 1997. The then-couple separated in 2003.

“I was not expecting it, it was a shock,” Lorentz told the French news website Le Republicain Lorrain.

“I was an adult so I made do. But our daughter, who was 9-years-old, felt the separation very badly. She cried every day.”

“That’s when Eric was a great support for us and our relationship evolved,” she added.

“I felt abandoned when my father abandoned my mother. So I knew how she felt,” said Eric Holder about his half-sister, who is also his goddaughter and now his step-daughter.

Eric Holder also had a daughter around the same time his half-sister was born.

But despite the complication, the family accepted the couple’s relationship, including the two girls who were both bridesmaids at the wedding, according to Lorentz.

“They have almost the same age and consider themselves sisters. We never differentiate between them,” she added.

(With Agence France Presse)