We explore the life of Fernande Grudet, the real Madame Claude who inspired a new Netflix film.

The film was released to the streaming platform on 2 April 2021. It follows the life of Fernande, a French brothel keeper in 1960s Paris.

But what happened to Fernande Grudet?

Who was Fernande Grudet?

Fernande Grudet was born 6 July 1923 in Angers, France. The work which went on to define her career was as the manager of a brothel in Paris.

Throughout the 1960s, Fernande set up an exclusive prostitution network with famous names on her list of clientele.

This Netflix film is not the first time Fernande’s life has been explored in film. In 1977, Just Jaeckin released Madame Claude.


What happened to Fernande?

Fernande Grudet was chased by French authorities for 11m francs (about €6.6m, or £4.9m) in unpaid taxes. While she fled to the United States for a brief time, upon her return to France in 1986, Fernande was given a four-month jail sentence.

On 19 December 2015, Fernande Grudet died.

She passed away at the age of 92 in Nice, France.

How to watch Madame Claude

Currently, the 2021 film Madame Claude is exclusively available to watch on Netflix.

The earlier film, directed by Just Jaeckin, is not available to stream on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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