Implicated once more is that mysterious Hollywood stylist of Belgian descent and no last name, Christophe. This time, however, he gave his services not on board an aircraft of the presidential flight, as he did last week in LA, but in Washington DC, in the White House private apartments.
There is, of course, an explanation for this seeming extravagance, and the First Lady's press people spent yesterday going through every contortion to get it across. She submitted herself to Christophe, they insisted, for the benefit not of herself but of popular publishing. The dollars 2,000 is what a big-circulation supermarket check-out magazine, Family Circle, recently paid to have Christophe and a make- up assistant flown across the continent to prepare Mrs Clinton to be photographed for the front cover of its May issue.
Nor was the Family Circle session unique. According to the White House, the Beverly Hills duo have been brought in more than once for similar pre-photo grooming appointments for other magazines. Most were made to shell out more 'reasonable' amounts. Los Angeles Times Magazine, which featured the First Lady on its front last weekend, paid dollars 750.
This latest flap could not have come at a worse time. The President is struggling to lay to rest not only the controversy over his encounter with Christophe but also a general impression that he and his wife are star-struck. He has suddenly become boastful about his watch. It cost only dollars 40.
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