France’s former first lady, singer-songwriter Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has said she wants to “defend her honour” through the courts after claims she received 410,000 euros from the presidential budget to finance her personal website.
France’s former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on Sunday threatened legal action “to defend her honour” after an online petition demanded she repay 410,000 euros from the presidential budget that were used to fund her personal website while her husband was head of state.
Some 77,000 web users had signed the petition by noon on Monday.
Paris-based website developer Nicolas Bousquet, who started the petition, said it was “obscene” that such an amount personally benefited Bruni-Sarkozy and that the site should have cost less than 10,000 euros to create and run.
The appeal was created in the wake of a July report by the French Court of Auditors that stated that Bruni “benefited from a personal website” dedicated to her position as First Lady.
The site, her lawyers pointed out, is not the same as the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation site she maintains today. She denies any wrongdoing.
“Carla Bruni-Sarkozy reserves the right to fight, through the courts, all claims that attack her personal honour, namely that the Foundation that bears her name benefited from financing that never existed,” her lawyer Richard Malka said in a statement.
Malka said that the website mentioned by the Court of Auditors “ceased to exist” in May 2012 and that the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation had not received “a single cent” of public money.
Following the lawyer’s statement, petition creator Bousquet wrote: “We are delighted to learn that the Foundation did not receive any public funds.
“But it changes nothing – 410,000 euros were spent to finance web pages that promoted the activities of former first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy.
“She should still pay the money back.”
Former model turned singer Bruni-Sarkozy is currently promoting her album “Little French Songs”.
Date created : 2013-07-29