Author of Carla Bruni biography defends sources

THE co-author of a new book about French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has defended his sources amid a media buzz over a passage that cites Michelle Obama as calling life in the White House “hell”.

Michelle Obama’s spokeswoman has denied the first lady said such a thing, and a spokesman at the French Embassy in Washington said Bruni-Sarkozy “distances herself completely” from the book, which appeared in French bookstores on Thursday.

The unauthorised book, called Carla et les Ambitieux, or Carla and the Ambitious Ones, describes the scene of a March dinner at the White House, during which the two first ladies were purported to have had a conversation in English in which they compared notes on their experiences as wives of presidents.

The book claims Michelle Obama said: “Don’t even talk to me about it, it’s hell. I can’t stand it.”

Author Yves Derai stood by the explosive dialogue, insisting it was based on interviews with “reliable sources” — though he declined to name them.

“In France, we have something called the ‘protection of sources,’ so I’m not repeating what Carla or others told me,” Derai told reporters yesterday.

Derai said he had interviewed about 50 people for the book and Bruni-Sarkozy herself accorded the co-authors several interviews totalling about 10 hours. But he stressed the book was by no means an “official” biography.

Carla and the Ambitious Ones is the second book published this week on Bruni-Sarkozy.

Carla: A Secret Life was published on Wednesday.


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