Carla Bruni-Sarkozy: 'I have no political influence'
France's first lady, supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy denied she has any influence over her presidential husband's decisions, in an interview with Elle magazine published Friday.Paris - France's first lady, supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy denied she has any influence over her presidential husband's decisions, in an interview with Elle magazine published Friday.
"I give my husband my opinion if he asks for it, but he never consults me on precise issues of policy, because I know nothing about them," she said.
Before last year's marriage to right-wing French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, Bruni was seen as something of a champagne socialist -- a member of what the French call the "caviar left" -- espousing fashionable liberal causes.
Critics see her influence behind some of the decisions that most surprised Sarkozy's core conservative supporters, including the appointment of several controversial left-leaning figures within the establishment.
"How could anyone imagine that my husband would be so hen pecked as to allow himself to be influenced?" Bruni demanded, according to the magazine, insisting she had had no interest in politics before her marriage.
"In a couple, both parties influence the other, but I have no political influence on my husband, otherwise life would be hell," she insisted.
Bruni admitted that Sarkozy had asked her for advice on figures she knows from the world of culture and showbusiness, but denied that this had been a determining factor in his appointments.
She denied widespread reports she was behind the appointments of formerly anti-establishment commentator Philippe Val to run a state radio station and of gay television presenter Frederic Mitterrand as culture minister.
Mitterrand is a nephew of late Socialist president Francois Mitterrand, and Sarkozy's opponents have dragged up the minister's self-confessed past as a sex tourist in southeast Asia to embarrass his boss.
"He asked my advice on Frederic Mitterrand and other artist friends over dinner once. All my opinions were positive! But he had already made up his mind," Bruni insisted.