Bruni 'a political liability for her husband'
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's marriage to Carla Bruni, long considered among the world's most desirable women, was touted as a coup for the French leader.
But the author of 'Carla: A Secret Life' -- an unauthorised biography chronicling her glamorous life -- suggests Bruni is now a political liability for her husband.
In her explosive book, author Besma Lahouri says Bruni's alleged rivalry with Michelle Obama has strained relations between the French and US presidential couples.
Bruni's image of distant, well-heeled perfection has kept her at arm's length from the French people.
At a time when the conservative president's popularity has plummeted, and he is being criticised for raising the retirement age, having a more accessible first lady might soften his image, Ms Lahouri said.
"The French don't know their first lady, and her worries seem to them very far removed from their own," Ms Lahouri said in an interview.
All the French have seen of Bruni of late, Ms Lahouri said, was footage of her with the Queen of England and other dignitaries, picture-perfect in Christian Dior suits with matching hats, shoes and handbags.