Milli Vanilli’s Fab Morvan remembers lip-syncing controversy as new doc is released

Michael Prieve 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
Milli Vanilli

Fabrice “Fab” Morvan is revisiting the rise and fall of Milli Vanilli, 34 years removed from the scandal that brought down the chart-topping pop duo. In the new documentary Milli Vanilli — directed by Luke Korem, and streaming on Paramount+ starting Oct. 24 — Morvan opens up about the embarrassment he felt when the world found out that he and bandmate Robert “Rob” Pilatus were lip-syncing their hit songs, and the pain surrounding Pilatus' death.

“When I lost him, I lost part of me,” Morvan revealed, reflecting on his friend's 1998 death in an interview ahead of the doc's streaming release. “My rock bottom is losing Rob, because he was like a family member, my brother, the person that knew how it was to walk in my shoes.”

In 1996, Pilatus served three months in prison for assault, vandalism and attempted robbery, before spending six months in rehab for drug use. He died two years later from an accidental overdose. A new Milli Vanilli album featuring Pilatus and Morvan on lead vocals was slated to come out that year, but was canceled due to Pilatus' death.

Morvan reflected on his bandmate's later years. “He was a funny guy, and sometime I knew that emotionally he had a problem,” he said. “I made him laugh and he laughed at my jokes, and it took us back in time where life was simple… reminiscing about the past, even though we were in a place of dreams-slash-nightmares.”

“In the process, we were changing,” he continued. “And I could see that, and I was trying to pull him back with some of those things that we used to share, but he was changing. It was not impacting him the same… No, when the night went down, he went into another direction.”

Morvan said that toward the end of his life, Pilatus seemed to be headed in a positive direction. “He was able to grab onto those components that are allowing you to grow and to go on with your life,” he said. “Unfortunately, he was not able to.”

YouTube video

The new documentary reveals the emotional toll the scandal took on the pair. “Honoring his memory for me is by making sure that the story is told properly,” Morvan said. “We're going to feel what he felt.”

Director Luke Korem began exploring Milli Vanilli four years ago after watching a video of Morvan sharing his story at the Moth in New York City. “It was very compelling when he was talking. And at the end he sang and he had this beautiful voice. And I thought, ‘Well, wait a minute. I thought the whole thing was these guys are talentless,'” Korem said.

“People don't realize, everybody involved with Milli Vanilli, a lot of 'em haven't even met each other. Frank [Farian], the producer, kept everyone separate,” he continued. “And so everyone has these opinions and feelings about each other. And me coming in as an objective outsider, I think I was able to bring everyone together and say, ‘I don't have allegiance to anybody. I just want to hear your story, even if it's different than someone else's story. And then let's just put it all on camera and let the audience decide and decipher the truth.'”


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