Supermodel, chanteuse, first lady of France… Carla Bruni has seduced the worlds of fashion, pop and politics but, when it comes to men, insists she is not the temptress she is made out to be. Here, she tells Fabrice Gaignault about risqué lyrics, pregnancy rumours and how Nicolas Sarkozy ‘vibrates with passion’.
MC: Anita Pallenberg once told Keith Richards: ‘Choose! It’s either your guitar or me.’ Has the president said anything similar?
CB: [Laughs] No, it’s not the way he is. He’s very encouraging. Believe me, it’s not very enjoyable to hear me repeat the same melody for over four hours. But Nicolas never complains.
Do the president’s people approve?
I’ve no doubt there are those with the same political leanings as my husband who do not like my being a singer, but that’s the way it is. Regarding the lyrics of my songs, I did not change a single comma. I would have refused if Nicolas or his advisors had asked me. But my husband didn’t even consider it. I act how I want to and I only follow recommendations during official trips.
Where did your love of music come from? Did your ex-partners Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton play a role in your desire to sing?
Them, no; their music, yes. Anyway, I grew up in a family of musicians. My mother was a classical pianist and my stepfather was an industrialist who was passionate about composing contemporary music.
One song refers to your 30 lovers.
That’s because ‘30’ went well with the word ‘lover’. I’ve actually had far fewer lovers! That song was just showing off…
But 30 wouldn’t be so many for a woman of your age.
Yes, that’s true. For a 40-year-old woman, it’s not quite so extraordinary.
Regarding men, you also paint yourself as an Amazon in the ‘manhunter’ sense.
That’s just an image for a song. In reality, I don’t see myself as a manhunter. In fact, when it comes to love, I am rarely the one to make the first move. As my grandmother used to say: ‘A man always wants to be the first into the heart and the bed of a woman, whereas a woman would always want to be the last.’ That’s true. At the same time, my husband is 52 and I am 40, so it’s normal to have lived a life before we met.
What about the differences between Sarkozy’s musical taste and yours? It must be quite a challenge changing the views of a president.
Yes, but it’s the same challenge for him to enter into my world. His musical taste is quite simple: French music. He prefers to understand the lyrics. But I do sometimes help him discover new things. I’m convinced that he would love Bob Dylan or The Clash. It will happen.
Looking from the outside, the president often seems feverish and upset. Is he the same at home?
Nicolas is not feverish, he is simply vibrating with emotions and passion. Believe me, he is a man who knows how to relax every time he enters our home.
What’s the first thing you say to each other when he walks through the door at night?
We only recently got married. We don’t say anything – we kiss each other.
Would you encourage him to leave politics?
No, only to take care of himself. If he considers that he has not completed his mission and if he believes the country still needs him, I would find it completely normal that he runs for re-election.
There is a rumour that you are pregnant. So, a girl or a boy?
The rumour is growing, but my stomach is not. If I were pregnant, I would not
be smoking in front of you as I am today. I would love to be, but I am 40 years
old, and so must be very prudent regarding both my well-being and
my words. I would not prematurely announce a pregnancy that could turn out badly. Also, my position as the president’s wife implies a strong duty
of discretion until I am able to serenely make any announcement.