Bruni-Sarkozy seeks compensation over photos with navy wives
French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy is seeking compensation from a magazine that published photos of her meeting wives of French Navy members that are deployed off Libya, Le Parisien newspaper reported Thursday.
Bruni-Sarkozy, who is expecting her first child with President Nicolas Sarkozy in October, has written of her "stupefaction" at seeing the photos of her meeting with the ten wives printed "without any authorization" in Gala magazine, the report said.
The photos were taken as part of an exclusive interview with Nice-Matin newspaper on July 14, Bastille Day, which Bruni-Sarkozy, 43, marked by inviting ten wives of navy members to Fort de Bregancon, a presidential retreat on a small island off south-east France, DPA reported.
In a letter to the vice-admiral at Toulon navy base, Bruni-Sarkozy asked him to convey her "embarrassment" and apologies to the women over the Gala story, Le Parisien wrote.
She also invited the women to join with her in seeking compensation from the magazine, which would be paid to a charity that looks after navy orphans.
Aides to the president's third wife said she was angered by what she saw as a violation of the wives' right to privacy.
She did not, however, plan to lay charges against the magazine, Le Parisien said.
Gala's editor Matthias Gurtler has defended the story, saying the magazine paid an agency for the photographs, which show the smiling former supermodel in a flowing pink dress on the front cover and, inside, leading a discussion with the women and showing them around the island.
The agency, from which Gala sourced the photos, had bought them from Nice-Matin and offered them "to all its clients, not just Gala" on condition they credit Nice-Matin, Gala said.
The Gala report, which quotes Bruni-Sarkozy as saying she does not know whether she's expecting a boy or a girl and describing her pregnancy as a source of "unexpected, unhoped-for" joy, mentions in the text that she granted the interview to Nice-Matin.
The Gala images comes a week after Paris Match magazine published paparazzi photographs of a bikini-clad Bruni-Sarkozy relaxing on a beach and swimming with Sarkozy.