'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”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - OTE £40,000

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Contracts / Sales Administrator

£19500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Knowledge of and ability to use...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence