Nathalie Maillet: Head of Belgium's Spa F1 circuit and lesbian lover shot dead by husband
A Formula 1 boss was shot dead by her husband after he found her in bed with her lesbian lover. He then turned the gun on himself, after killing the lover as well.
Nathalie Maillet, 51 was found dead alongside her lover Ann Larence Durviaux, 53, at her Gouvy, Belgium residence on Sunday, August 15. The pair was fatally shot by Maillet's husband Franz Dubois, who called the authorities before taking his own life. Police said they were treating the deaths as double murder and suicide. However, they could not confirm infidelity as the motive considering Dubois was aware of his wife's lesbian relationships and her sexuality was an open secret, DH Sport reported.
Maillet's colleagues raised the alarm when she did not turn up for the last day of the Ypres Rally event, which was part of the World Rally Championship, on Sunday. She had been the CEO of the Spa-Francorchamps F1 circuit since 2016 and reportedly played an instrumental role in the modernization of the circuit.
Meanwhile, Dubois was also a popular figure in the world of motorsport, known both as a team owner and as the co-founder of the VW Fun Cup series. He and Maillet were married for 17 years and were both racecar drivers at some point. Maillet's racing career was arguably more successful than that of her husband's. She secured podium finishes in five of seven 25 Heures VW Fun cup races she competed in, winning the event in 2006, according to the Daily Mail.
"At 00:10, the bodies of two women and one man were discovered by the police in a house in Gouvy, all three presenting gunshot wounds," the public prosecutor explained in a statement. "According to our information, the male individual voluntarily used his firearm to kill both women, including his wife, before killing himself."
The Mayor of Gouvy Veronique Leonard said she was "warned, around 2.30 am, by the police, that a double murder, followed by a suicide, had been committed in the house."
Melchior Wathelet, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, also extended her condolences in a statement. "My thoughts are with Nathalie's family, her parents, her relatives but also her teams," Wathelet said. "I know how this news will upset her staff and I wish on behalf of the entire Board of Directors to offer my sincere condolences to the entire Circuit team. Today we are losing a very great lady, a motorsports lover, and enthusiast, a true leader who will be sorely missed. Nathalie had become the face of the circuit, she embodied this passion for racing that we all share," Wathelet added.
Former F1 boss Jean Todt also paid tribute to Maillet. "She embodied this high place of motorsport. All my thoughts and solidarity go out to her family, friends, and the Spa-Francorchamps teams," Todt tweeted.
Très choqué et attristé par la brutale disparition de Nathalie Maillet, directrice du @circuitspa. Elle incarnait ce haut lieu du sport automobile. Toutes mes pensées et ma solidarité vont à sa famille, à ses amis et aux équipes de Spa-Francorchamps. pic.twitter.com/UjV1EGq9Xe— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) August 15, 2021
Formula 1's governing body FIA paid tribute to Maillet and lauded her illustrious career. “The FIA has been saddened to learn of the tragic death of Nathalie Maillet," the FIA wrote in a statement. “Nathalie was the Chief Executive Officer at Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps since 2016 during which time she oversaw major development of the iconic racetrack which hosts a number of FIA championships. On behalf of the entire motorsport community, we wish to extend our condolences to her family and friends.”
An investigation into the incident is still underway, with forensics and ballistics teams examining the crime scene and bodies.