Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté arrested for growing cannabis in Tahiti

Nov 13 2019, 11:11 am

Guy Laliberté, the French-Canadian co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, has been arrested in Tahiti for allegedly cultivating cannabis, according to a statement released by his representatives.

“We confirm that Mr. Guy Laliberté is currently held in custody at the Gendarmerie on the island of Tahiti,” read the message from Groupe Lune Rouge, another company founded by Laliberté. “A medical cannabis user, Mr. Laliberté is being questioned in respect of cultivation of cannabis for his personal use only at the residence on the island of Nukutepipi, located in the French Polynesia.”

The message goes on to say that Laliberté “categorically denies” any allegations or rumours that he’s involved in drug trafficking.

The short statement concludes by saying that he is cooperating with authorities and there will be no further comment.

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, Laliberté founded his internationally successful troupe after learning circus and performance arts while travelling Europe. He created the Cirque du Soleil (“Circus of the Sun”) as part of Quebec’s 450th anniversary celebration in 1984.

His massive resort home was built on Nukutepipi Island and cost a reported $150 million to complete. Rooms can be rented on Airbnb, for $190,573 per night and can accommodate 52 guests in the 21-bedroom, 25-bathroom facility.

There has been no other information released at this time.

The statement from Lune Rouge, in its entirety, is as follows:

We confirm that Mr. Guy Laliberté is currently held in custody at the Gendarmerie on the island of Tahiti. A medical cannabis user, Mr. Laliberté is being questioned in respect of cultivation of cannabis for his personal use only at the residence on the island of Nukutepipi, located in the French Polynesia. Mr. Guy Laliberté categorically denies and dissociates himself completely from any rumors implicating him in the sale or the traffic of controlled substances. We collaborate with the local authorities in the investigation. No comments will be issued.

With files from Ty Jadah.