'Sarkogate': Friends of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy cry 'betrayal' at revelations that his former adviser secretly recorded their conversations

 

Paris

Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy cried “betrayal” and even “rape” todday when it emerged that meetings and conversations with the former French president had been systematically covertly recorded while in office by one of his closest and most controversial advisers.

An investigative newspaper and a news website published extensive passages from private conversations recorded secretly by Patrick Buisson, the man responsible for Mr Sarkozy’s lurch towards the hard right during his failed campaign to remain president in 2012.

The tapes, dating from 2011, reveal an atmosphere of sycophancy and infighting in the Elysée Palace as Mr Sarkozy prepared a government reshuffle just after the Arab Spring began in Tunisia in February 2011.

They also included a bizarre and jokey conversation between Mr Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, in which she complains that the president is her “kept man” and that she has given up “glittering” contracts as a model and pop singer to become France’s First Lady.

Ms Bruni says that she looks forward to the day when she will be able to accept once again the kind of “lucrative” contracts for selling cosmetics to middle aged women which are enjoyed by “Julia Roberts, 44, Sharon Stone, 52, Julianne Moore, 53”.

Nicolas Sarkozy replies: “Oh so that’s my future then. To become Mr Ramirez, operating the check-out till (for your contracts).”

The tape continues when Mr Buisson leaves with Mr Sarkozy’s publicist, Jean-Michel Goudard. The two men are heard to agree that Ms Bruni-Sarkozy’s presence at the meeting was “difficult” and “lamentable”.

It is not clear what they have against the First Lady but she was sometimes accused by right wingers in Mr Sarkozy’s party of tilting his thinking on social issues towards the left.

The news magazine Le Point first alleged last month that Mr Buisson, 64, a hard-line nationalist and “royalist”,  had taped scores of private conversations with Mr Sarkozy and his advisers. Mr Buisson denied the allegations and started a libel action against the magazine.

The investigative weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchainé and the new website Atlantico yesterday published sound recordings and transcripts from four separate meetings in 2011. Mr Buisson’s lawyer accepted that they had been secretly recorded by his client but said they had been made for professional purposes and that those which had been made public  must have been “stolen”. Most of his tapes had been destroyed, he said.

Although nothing damaging was revealed yesterday, Mr Sarkozy’s friends said that the former President was “irate” and felt “betrayed”. Another former adviser, Henri Guaino spoke of “rape”.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

KS2 Teacher

£80 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Randstad education are working...

SQL Developer - Cardiff - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - C...

English Teacher (Maternity Cover Leave)

£100 - £160 per day + Mileage & Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: A great sc...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London