News The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is threatening legal action after an online petition asked her to repay nearly €410,000 (£354,000) used to fund her website while her husband was President.

Carla Bruni sues over nude image

The French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has started a legal action against a clothing company which has produced a shopping bag carrying an image of her posing naked. Mme Bruni-Sarkozy is demanding a ban on sales of the bag and €125,000 (£110,000) in damages that will be given to charity, her lawyers say. The bag is produced by Pardon!, a clothing chain based in Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean which is an overseas département of France. The bag shows a nude image of the First Lady that was taken in 1993, accompanied by a speech bubble reading, "My bloke should've bought me clothes from Pardon". It can be bought for €3 or is free with a purchase over €5. "This bag is an attack on Mme Bruni-Sarkozy's image without her consent and [is produced] purely for commercial reasons," her lawyer, Maître Iqbal Akhoun, said yesterday. But the clothing company defended their use of the Michel Comte photo, saying Mme Bruni-Sarkozy was "a woman in the public eye". The case will be examined on Monday.

Bruni embraces role as AIDS ambassador

The French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, today said that she would work to protect mothers and children against the HIV virus as a global ambassador for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Model home: Sarah Doukas reveals her stylish London home

Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm, has an eye for beauty (she famously discovered Kate Moss). But is the house where she started her empire as 'fashion-forward' as you'd expect?

Cartoon Carla: fiction – or fact?

A comic book on life in the Elysée Palace portrays the President's wife as the real power behind the throne. By John Lichfield

Carla, the Red Brigades and the battle for Sarkozy’s ear

A political storm blew up today after the French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, admitted that she had helped to persuade her husband to block the extradition of a hunger-striking, left-wing terrorist to Italy.

Fashion for the well-heeled Barbie doll

Christian Dior was the first big name to show at the spring/summer 2009 collections in Paris yesterday and, suffice it to say, that the label currently best-known for dressing Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in suitably demure style has just turned up the voltage.

Poisoned pen pals: Clash of the literary Titans

The caustic correspondence between Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Levy, titans of French literature, is to be revealed in a new book. Nobody is safe, says John Lichfield

Last Night: Later With Jools Holland, BBC2

Carla and the monsters of rock

John Lichfield's Paris Notebook: Carla's 'sales' hit by sound of silence

Is Carlamania dying? In France at least? In Britain, no doubt, Carlamania is doomed to have a half-life of a million years. A statistical row is raging in France over the true popularity of the First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Her third pop album, launched in July, has sold either 85,000 copies to French music-lovers or 175,000 copies, depending on how you count the sales.

Later with Jools Holland, Metallica...and Carla Bruni

The halls of the Elysée Palace are not famous for reverberating with the thrashing drums and shredded guitar solos of "Kill 'Em All", "Cunning Stunts" or "St Anger". Nevertheless, the French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is apparently enthralled to be taking time out from her diplomatic duties to jam alongside the heavy metal band Metallica – and Sir Paul McCartney – in a live appearance on Jools Holland's late-night television music show in two weeks' time.

First lady Bruni meets the Dalai Lama at opening of new temple

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy took another big step towards her goal of becoming France’s Jackie Kennedy yesterday when she braved pouring rain and the scorn of her husband’s critics to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader at a fairy-tale Buddhist temple on a hill in Languedoc. The former supermodel accepted the long white shawl of welcome from the Dalai Lama and posed for the cameras with pride.

Sarkozy accused of hypocrisy as his wife meets the Dalai Lama

The French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, will meet the Dalai Lama in France this week – adopting for the first time her self-proclaimed role as a kind of queen of human rights.

Call me Jackie... OK Carla - but does that make Sarko the new JFK?

It's enough to go to a girl's head. John Lichfield reports on Mme Bruni-Sarkozy's very revealing 'Vanity Fair' interview

Politicians on holiday: Time for a dressing down...

They know they'll have to pose for the cameras. So why, asks Harriet Walker, do politicians find holiday snaps so hard?

Carla Bruni: First lady of schmaltz

Carla Bruni is a self-styled femme fatale. So it's a pity that on her new album, the French President's wife comes across as simpering and weedy, says Andy Gill
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