Sarkozy 'boasted about wife's cleavage to his cabinet'
Nicolas Sarkozy praised his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's cleavage to cabinet ministers, a former adviser has claimed in a book depicting the former president as weak, immature and narcissistic.
Patrick Buisson, once one of Mr Sarkozy's closest aides, portrayed him as a "fake tough guy" who styled himself as "the poor man's Tom Cruise" but in reality was in thrall to his supermodel wife.
A series of deeply embarrassing revelations last week from Mr Buisson's tell-all memoirs may have torpedoed Mr Sarkozy's campaign to regain the presidency just as it was gaining momentum.
Weeks before he is due to stand in a primary election to choose the centre-Right candidate for next year's presidential election, the former president's popularity has tumbled.
Mr Buisson, said to have masterminded Mr Sarkozy's strategy of appealing to far-Right voters, has depicted him as hesitant and insecure, in contrast to his carefully cultivated image as a decisive and bold leader.
According to the book, Mr Sarkozy (61) deluded himself that the public was enchanted by his romance with Ms Bruni-Sarkozy, whom he married in 2008 while in office.
He ecstatically praised her breasts during a cabinet meeting and invited ministers to do likewise, Mr Buisson wrote. Many voters were put off by what they saw "as phallic triumphalism . . . exulting in the power of having a trophy wife on his arm," the book contended.
"The born leader was in reality a fragile seducer subjugated by his conquests, a fake tough guy permanently dependent on affection, an unhappy soul yearning to be loved, living under the domination of an empire of women."
Mr Buisson fell from favour after Mr Sarkozy lost the 2012 election to the Socialist François Hollande. His book, 'La Cause du Peuple' (The People's Cause), was condemned by Mr Sarkozy's current advisers as "vengeful" and "treacherous".
Opinion polls last week suggested that Mr Sarkozy would take 32pc of the vote in the first round of the primary election on November 20, well behind his more moderate rival Alain Juppé, with 40pc.
Mr Buisson also claimed that, as interior minister 10 years ago, Mr Sarkozy deliberately inflamed racial tensions and used the rampage of suburban rioters in central Paris to show off his capacity to restore order. (© Daily Telegraph, London)