On Friday, the Paris court is expected to rule on prosecutors' charges that Mr. Messier manipulated Vivendi's share price with buy-backs of stock in 2001, according to court documents. He could face as much as five years in jail if found guilty.
The court is also due to judge prosecutors' charges that Mr. Messier misled investors with statements about the company's financial health in a series of newspaper interviews and public declarations, according to the documents.
Mr. Messier has long denied the allegations, and he reiterated during the interview that he did nothing inappropriate. He also defended his strategy at Vivendi.
"The vision was right and the ambition was there...but outside factors hit us," he said. He attributed Vivendi's financial woes not to his aggressive acquisition strategy but to the bursting of the Internet bubble and the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001.
In his Vivendi heyday, Mr. Messier presided over thousands of employees in businesses stretching from book publishing to Universal Studios. He promoted a vision of entertainment piped to any screen at anytime. However. technology wasn't yet advanced enough to beam films and music to handheld devices over the Internet.
Mr. Messier also cultivated a high-flying image. He flitted between Paris and New York in a Falcon jet, was featured regularly in glossy magazines and was dubbed "master of the world" by the French media.
"Looking back I would have done some things differently," he said in the interview, which was conducted shortly before the verdict was set to be announced in November.
Following his departure from Vivendi, Mr. Messier, then 45, headed to the US to reinvent himself. He created an M&A advisory business with offices in Paris and New York. Despite the media backlash in France over Vivendi's financial troubles, several old acquaintances provided Mr. Messier with business.
The 30-person Messier Maris Associes has advised media conglomerate Lagardére SCA and retail company PPR SA on deals, according to Mr Messier.