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Carla Bruni-Sarkozy sues over nude photograph on bags


NEWS
Filed by Lucire staff/December 13, 2008/10.17


Pardon bag featuring Michel Comte photograph of Carla Bruni nude

French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is suing Pardon, a Reunion-based clothing company, for using a nude image of her from a 1993 photo shoot on one of its bags. The caption reads, ‘Mon mec aurait du m’acheter du Pardon,’ or ‘My man should have bought me Pardon.’
   Bruni-Sarkozy’s lawyer’s spokesman, Iqbal Akhoun, has told the media that the image has been used without her consent and for commercial gain.
   Pardon, which announced the bags on December 1, has produced 10,000 of the item and had plans to sell them in France.
   Pardon’s boss, Mertes, told AFP that his company was entitled to use the image because the First Lady is a public figure, and that most of the bags were used as gifts to clients.
   Bruni-Sarkozy says that the proceeds from a successful lawsuit would be donated to charity. She is seeking €125,000.
   A court in St-Denis will hear the case on Monday.
   The nude was photographed by Michel Comte while Bruni was a model. Considered tasteful and artistic, it was auctioned by Christie’s earlier this year and fetched $91,000, after experts projected it would go for a maximum of $4,000.
   Copyright law may rule in favour of a copyright holder. French law also covers moral rights. However, the best plaintiff may be the holders of Comte’s copyright, namely his estate, controlled by I-Management Ltd., rather than Bruni-Sarkozy.

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