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Carla Bruni with husband Nicolas Sarkozy leaving the Elysee Palace

what they’re fighting against! I was the same – just angry. At that age you think rebellion is sexy, which it is, but then you realise it’s also quite useless." At 19 she abandoned further education in art and architecture in Paris and quickly established herself as one of the most indemand models of the ’90s, working with every major fashion house and, at one point, earning over $7 million a year. It was also a decade in which she became a world-class heartbreaker, having a relationship with Eric Clapton and a seven-year affair with Mick Jagger. At one point she was even linked to Donald Trump, then merely a harmless property tycoon. (Confronted with this particular rumour, proudly stoked by Trump himself, an exasperated Bruni said the billionaire was 'obviously a lunatic’.) Bruni left fashion in 1997, a year after Alberto Bruni Tedeschi died. While seriously ill, he revealed to Bruni that her biological father was in fact a guitarist and grocery magnate named Maurizio Remmert, with whom she now has a close relationship. Bruni misses the fun of her modelling years, she says, but has no desire to relive anything, or even talk about those days. In fact, when I ask her what advice she might give her carefree 25-year-old self now, she responds cryptically in song, with a committed and lengthy two choruses of Guy Lombardo’s Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think). "…that’s the only thing I would say to anybody young. Enjoy



yourself, because it is always later than you think, non?" Trailing off, she pauses to light a Vogue super-slim cigarette, her trademark, and carefully places an ashtray on the cushion beside her. Bruni’s singing voice is breathy and ethereal, to the extent that listening to her music is like having a particularly catchy secret whispered into your ear. She says she writes constantly, scribbling French rhymes down in a notebook she keeps in her handbag, and is never happier than when performing on stage, an adrenalin rush she can compare only to "the superior excitement of the first two months of love". Her debut album, 2002’s Quelqu’un m’a dit, an acoustic, jazzy collection of chansons, which sold two million copies, was written during her relationship with the philosopher Raphaël Enthoven, whose father she previously dated, and with whom she had a son, Aurélien, in 2001. Four more acclaimed records followed over the next 13 years, the latter few’s lyrics mined for potential gossip by hungry French tabloids. Looking back, the shock caused in France when Bruni and Sarkozy’s relationship went public seems almost quaint. At the time the press renounced the unlikely coupling as nothing more than a fling. She, they pointed out, was the bohemian femme fatale who had once declared that 'monogamy bores me’ and had albums to sell. He was the diminutive, teetotal, workaholic career politician, 12 years her senior and father to three sons from two previous marriages.

Global Citizen 33  

Global Citizen's summer issue features the face of Bulgari jewellery - French model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Ralph Lauren builds his legacy with...

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