Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

France

Unauthorised biography calls Carla Bruni a 'female Don Juan'

Video by Clovis CASALI

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-15

An unauthorised biography of France's first lady, Carla Bruni, calls her a "female Don Juan" and claims her chic, modest persona is the result of an image makeover. The book also alleges that Bruni, 43, has had plastic surgery, a charge she denies.

AFP - An unauthorised biography of French first lady Carla Bruni paints an unflattering picture of the Italian ex-supermodel claiming she lives a solitary life, neglects her charitable works and forces her husband to socialise with her former lovers.
   
"Carla, A Secret Life" by former journalist Besma Lahouri discloses that following her marriage to President Nicolas Sarkozy a presidential adviser was assigned to help rebrand Bruni, whose former lovers include Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, as a demure political wife.
   
It also alleges that Bruni, 43, has had extensive plastic surgery despite denials, and had a 20-year relationship with a Paris surgeon.
   
The disclosures appeared in a report Saturday in British newspaper The Times, which has been given the book ahead of publication along with the French weekly Marianne.
   
Describing Bruni as a "female Don Juan", the book, which the author says the Elysee Palace tried to discourage, says she has maintained contact with former paramours.
   
"Since he married the woman that some called a 'man-eater', (Mr Sarkozy) has to put up every day with this burdensome tribe. Singers, philosophers, lawyers, bosses, men of the press or politics."
   
No less than three such men were house guests at Bruni's Riviera villa last year during Sarkozy's first holiday there.
   
Bruni had finally met her match in her marriage to Sarkozy with a "man even more unpredictable than her", Lahouri said.
   
After their whirlwind romance and 2008 marriage, the Elysee Palace embarked on a carefully managed image makeover of the new first lady led by presidential aide Pierre Charon.
   
"Carla had warned me 'they are going to say a lot of things about me, about my past life. Things, photographs are going to come out'... So we had to help give her a new image. That of a shy young woman...," he told Lahouri.
   
That image was successfully projected during Bruni's state visit to London in March 2008 when she was feted by the British media for her effortless chic.
   
Behind the scenes, however, the book says she lives a solitary life and Lahouri describes her foundation to fight AIDS as "an empty shell".
   
Lahouri, also the author of a best-selling biography on French footballer Zinedine Zidane, spent two years interviewing family friends and Bruni colleagues.
   
She found her to be "attractive and impetuous, free and calculating...  faithful in friendship and fickle in love."
   
But she added that she believed Bruni's true nature was a long way from that of the "well-brought up girl with her head bowed".
   
"I did not set out to be unkind but to reveal what she really is... The image of Carla Bruni is totally false," she said.
   
Lahouri says Charon attempted to deter her from writing the book, warning her, "It's not worth it. It's too complicated."
   
The Elysee had also tried to obtain a copy of the manuscript and was now hinting at possible legal action, she said.
   
The book is in contrast to another biography due to be published this month which was produced with Bruni's cooperation.
   
In "Carla et les Ambitieux" (Carla and the Ambitious), authors Yves Derai and Michael Darmon concentrate instead on her life as first lady.  
   
Lahouri's biography will be published on Wednesday by Flammarion.
   
 

Date created : 2010-09-12

  • IRAN

    Iranian newspaper brands Carla Bruni a 'prostitute'

    Read more

  • ENTERTAINMENT

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy makes acting debut with Woody Allen

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    FRANCE 24 fined for violating privacy over Sarkozy affair rumour

    Read more

COMMENT(S)