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French presidential couple

When Nicolas met Carla

By Joffre Agnes

This could have been called "when Nicolas met Carla", this could have been a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Billy Cristal but it's not. It's called "Autobiographie non autorisée" ("Unauthorized Autobiography").Written by the advertiser Jacques Séguéla, it's about the love story of the French President and his wife. Fancy a touch of romance in the cruel world of politics?

Everybody knows that the romance between former model and singer Carla Bruni and President Nicolas Sarkozy has been speedy, but who could imagine he spoke about marriage and children on their first encounter? Who could imagine he asked her to be the Marilyn Monroe to his JFK?

Jacques Séguéla is friends with both, he is the one who introduced them and the one who tells the story now, reporting their conversations. So, how does one seduce a President in just one night? How does one sweep off her feet one of the most beautiful women in just one night? Lets find out...


Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy
Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy

As Jacques Sélégua said, the two were experienced seducers and the dinner quickly turned into “a game of seduction between two wild beasts.” The famous advertiser knew it was going to be magic between the two strong personalities. He was absolutely sure that the two would like each other since they are exactly the same kind of people. Both are vivacious, provocative and don’t waste an occasion to play with words. As she warned him she was aware of his reputation as a womaniser, Nicolas Sarkozy told her: “My reputation is no worse than yours. I know you well without ever having met you. I understand everything about you ... You make love because no one makes love to you. I know everything about you because I am so much you.”

Both fell under each other's spell, but Nicolas Sarkozy confessed he would not be a gift. Indeed, he is always followed by paparazzi. Carla Bruni laughed out loud: “When it comes to the celebrity press, you are an amateur. My encounter with Mick [Jagger] stayed secret for eight years. We passed through all the capitals of the world and no photographer ever caught us.” The only response she could get was: “How could you have stayed eight years with a man who has such ridiculous calves?” Deuce, one all!

Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy
Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy

Things quickly accelerated Nicolas Sarkozy acted as a magnet attracted by Carla Bruni and other guests were simply bemused. And yet, so far, they didn’t see anything. When Sarkozy promised her he would come to her forthcoming concert, they should have been more surprised.  And then.. “We will announce our engagement. You will see, we will do better than Marilyn and Kennedy,” he told her. She replied: “Engagement, never! From now on I will only live with a man who gives me a child.” Mr Sarkozy came back: “I have already brought up five. Why not six?” Marriage, children, Carla Bruni at least refused a kiss. The President whispered in Ms Bruni's ear: “Bet you don't have the nerve right now in front of everyone to kiss me on the mouth.” This time, she did not reply but accepted to let him bring her back home… and call her friend Séguéla on the phone 10 minutes later saying: “Your chum - what charm, what intelligence, what attention, what energy, what seductiveness. But I find him a bit of a boor. I left him my number and he still hasn't called.” Well, I’m sure she did not wait that long given that seven weeks later, they were married.

So, what do you think? As far as I’m concerned, I have to admit that a man speaking of marriage and children on the first encounter would make me run away fast. I guess I am not Carla Brun either. However, I am amused by the way this romance has been portrayed by the British press. A few days ago, I read an amusing article in The Telegraph: “Nicolas Sarkozy’s seduction technique shows typical French flair”. Journalist Jemima Lewis expressed her astonishment: She was sure that kind of story didn’t happen in real life but only in romantic comedies and, even then, only in French ones. As she said, “Consider, by way of contrast, Cherie Blair's account of the moment she fell for Tony. "It was a Christmas party with games. One involved putting a balloon under your chin and passing it along. So we were doing this passing the balloon and I suddenly thought, Hang on a minute..."  That's the British way: romance as a childish accident, probably involving quantities of drink. But the French take themselves too seriously to be pathetic about love - and so much the better.”

Capital of love?
Capital of love?

I just wanted to reassure her: this is not the regular way of  seducing in France and most of the stories begin in a much more classical way. In passing, isn’t it too beautiful to be totally true? Love at first sight at the head of France… fact or fiction? I can’t help thinking this has been a little romanticised... What do you think?


21/02/2012 - vtassessor said :

Goes to show the power of viral ads. Lots of talk about brand utiliy' but people are still people and still want to be entertained (by traditional, creative ads).

11/03/2010 - bibi said :

I think it is very possible and is not something that has been a little romanticised. The same thing happened to me many years ago when I was around the same age! I had loved my man in a past life - this much was obvious when we first met. I would expect the same thing happened between Carla Bruni and the President. True love cannot die!


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