French President to sue publisher over voodoo doll
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is going to court to force a French publisher to take off the market a voodoo doll in his image, French media reported on Thursday.
The doll, 20,000 of which went on sale on October 9, comes with a manual and a dozen pins that can be stuck through well-known quotes of his - such as "Work more and earn more," or "Bugger off, you ass" - which are printed on the doll, reported dpa.
The daily Le Monde reported that Sarkozy's attorney, Thierry Herzog, sent a letter to K&B Publishers, which makes the doll, asserting that Sarkozy "has an exclusive and absolute right" over his image and demanding that the doll be withdrawn from public sale.
However, a spokesperson for K&B said that the demand was "over the top" and that the publisher had no intention of removing the doll or the manual from bookstore shelves.
K&B has also put out a voodoo doll of Sarkozy's Socialist Party opponent in the 2007 presidential election, Segolene Royal.
Royal's attorney, Jean-Pierre Mignard, said that the effigy was "an affront to her dignity as a human being" and declared that she was also considering taking legal action.
The two dolls can be purchased together as a kit, or individually for 12.95 euros (16.64 dollars) each. They are also available, for a 5 per cent discount, from the French branch of the internet sales outlet Amazon.