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Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi, ( 23 December 1967) is an Italian-French singer, songwriter and former model. She has been married to Nicolas Sarkozy, the former President of the French Republic, since February 2008. Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi was born in Turin, Italy, and is heiress to the fortune created by the Italian tyre manufacturing company CEAT, founded in the 1920s by her grandfather Virginio Bruni Tedeschi. The company was sold in the 1970s to Pirelli (the brand lives on via its former subsidiary in India, founded in 1958). The family moved to France in 1975, reportedly to escape the threat of kidnapping by the Red Brigades, a Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary group active in Italy in the 1970s. Bruni grew up in France from age seven and attended boarding school in Switzerland. She went to Paris to study art and architecture, but left school at 19 to become a model. She is legally the daughter of Italian concert pianist Marisa Borini and industrialist and classical composer Alberto Bruni Tedeschi. However, in 2008 Bruni told Vanity Fair that her biological father is Italian-born, Brazilian grocery magnate Maurizio Remmert. At that time, Remmert was a 19-year old classical guitarist, and his affair with Borini lasted six years. Her sister is actress and movie director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. She had a brother, Virginio Bruni Tedeschi (1959–4 July 2006), who died from complications of HIV/AIDS. From her biological father, she has a half-sister, Consuelo Remmert.
Bruni signed with City Models at age 19. Paul Marciano, president and creative director of Guess Inc., came across her picture among composite cards of aspiring models and chose her to model with Estelle Lefébure in campaigns for Guess? jeans. Bruni subsequently worked for designers and fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Yves Saint-Laurent, Shiatzy Chen, Chanel and Versace.
By the 1990s, Bruni was among the 20 highest-paid fashion models, earning USD$7.5 million in her peak year. While modeling, Bruni dated Eric Clapton, then Mick Jagger. On 11 April 2008, a 1993 nude photograph of Bruni taken during her modelling career sold at auction for US$91,000 (€65,093) – more than 60 times the expected price. She was a modeling subject of a 1999 trompe-l’œil wool-knit dress body painting by Joanne Gair that is included in Gair’s second book, Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair. In 1997, Bruni quit the world of fashion to devote herself to music. She sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc in 1999, based on which he composed six tracks on his 2000 album Si j’étais elle.
In 2002, her debut album Quelqu’un m’a dit, produced by Louis Bertignac, was released in Europe with success in Francophone countries. Three songs from the album appear in Hans Canosa’s 2005 American film Conversations with Other Women, the song Le Plus Beau du quartier was used in H&M’s Christmas 2006 commercial, and the title track was featured in the 2003 movie Le Divorce and in the 2009 movie(500) Days of Summer. In January 2010, her song “L’amoureuse” was featured in an episode of NBC’s Chuck, “Chuck vs. First Class”.
In 2005, she wrote the lyrics for ten out of twelve songs for Louis Bertignac’s new album Longtemps, and performed two duets with him on the album, Les Frôleuses and Sans toi. In 2006, Bruni recorded “Those Little Things”, an English-language translation of the Serge Gainsbourg song “Ces petits riens” for the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited. She took part in the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in a parade paying tribute to the Italian flag.
More interesting is her personal life.
Bruni met the recently divorced French president Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2007 at a dinner party. After a brief romance they married on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
The marriage is Bruni’s first and Sarkozy’s third. Bruni obtained French nationality not long afterwards. She has since made contradictory statements as to whether she still holds Italian nationality as well.
When Carla Bruni revealed that she’d had 15 lovers before she married Nicolas Sarkozy, there was a collective sharp intake of breath.
‘What a slut!’ gasped some people, tut-tutting away. While others, equally shocked, asked: ‘Only 15? That’s peanuts!’
Am I only the person who thinks 15 is actually about right, if a touch on the high side? I know this might seem a little shocking, and this is not a debate we would have been having in 1955.
But this is the 21st century, and for better or worse, sexual habits have changed dramatically in the past two generations.
I know some women like to save themselves for marriage and stick with the same man through thick and thin for the rest of their lives.
But I’ve got a friend who did this and, unfortunately, 30 years on, she seems obsessed with sex, absolutely riveted by orgasms and experimentation, with a real prurient fascination.
She once confided that she felt she’d missed out and was always tempted, even though she loved her husband dearly, to go to bed with one other person just once ‘to see what it’s like’.
There is, she tells me, a constant feeling of ‘what might have been’. I think she imagines that everyone except her is swinging from the chandeliers and trying positions that hadn’t even occurred to the writer of the Kama Sutra. (For some: yes. For most of us: no.)
She’ll never be able to say, like Carla Bruni, that: ‘Love lasts a long time, but burning desire – two to three weeks.’ Because she just doesn’t know it.
In vain do I try to reassure her that in the end, after the initial crazy lust has died down, most married people’s sex lives are much of a muchness: she still sees herself as someone who has been deprived.
And, in one way, she’s right. She’s been deprived of experience. She’s been deprived of the knowledge that some men can be fantastic lovers – and yet may not do a thing for you if, fundamentally, you don’t fancy them.
And others can be, by the terms of sex magazines, rather hopeless in bed.
But, simply because of something about them, the way their hair curls at the back of their neck or the way they say they love you, can always make you feel weak at the knees when they so much as look at you.
She’ll never have experienced men’s sexual insecurities or, by trying out several, have discovered that some have raging sex drives and others are rather humdrum.
Of course, Carla Bruni does rather have one over on the rest of us. As she’s dated people like Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and Donald Trump, one assumes she might have had affairs with them, and since all of them must, by their very status, be blessed with huge sexual experience, presumably she’s got a pretty high benchmark.
Following her marriage to Sarkozy, in February 2008, Bruni continued accompanying him on state visits, including to the United Kingdom in March 2008, which created a sensation in the international press and the public in both Britain and France. She has an office and staff at her disposal in the East wing of the Élysée Palace.
There was controversy on the eve of the state visit to the UK, with the publication by Christie’s auction house of a nude photograph of Bruni taken during her career as a model. The photograph sold for $91,000. There was also great interest in Bruni’s wardrobe, which was Christian Dior, seen as a diplomatic choice, being a French design house designed by John Galliano, a British designer. Another controversy was the use of a popular photo of the French President and Bruni in the print advertising of Ryanair. The couple was awarded damages by a French court which they donated to Les Restos du Cœur, an organisation which provides meals to the homeless.
In December 2008, Bruni sued the makers of a bag featuring a nude shot of the French first lady taken during her supermodelling youth. Clothes designer Pardon has produced 10,000 of the shopping bags emblazoned with the nude photo taken in 1993, showing Bruni staring at the camera with her crossed hands covering her crotch.