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Carla sues fashion designer over nude image

world Updated: Dec 14, 2008 13:40 IST

PTI
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Carla Bruni, the glamorous wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy has dragged a fashion designer to court for featuring a nude image of the French first lady.

The 40-year-old beauty claims use of the naked picture by French clothes company 'Pardon' constitutes the theft of her image.

The clothes designer has produced 10,000 of the shopping bags emblazoned with the nude photo taken in 1993, showing the then supermodel Carla, with the slogan "My man should have taken me shopping at Pardon". The image caused a stir when it hit the headlines during the French presidential couples state visit to Britain in March.

"We are going to ask for 125,000 euros in damages for the sale of this article which constitutes a moral and matrimonial attack," said Thierry Herzog, the Italian-born first lady's lawyer.

He said it amounted to theft of her image and wants the bags removed from shops and destroyed.

"Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has exclusive and absolute rights over her image," Herzog was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

According to the report in the British daily, the model-turned-singer intends to give the sum to a charity should she win her case, which comes to court on Monday.

Fashion group Pardon, based in the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, is selling the bags for three euros or handing them out free to customers spending more than five euros in its stores in the run up to Christmas, the report said.