Sarkozy in 'rage' over secret tapes of him and Carla Bruni
Sarkoleaks: Bruni mocked French president about his salary, while adviser called him 'the dwarf'
NICOLAS SARKOZY is said to be seething after tapes of conversations held at the Elysee Palace and other presidential residences were leaked to the French media.
The recordings of four meetings in 2011 reveal Sarkozy mocking senior members of his government and the then prime minister Francois Fillon, and give tantalising glimpses of his private life with wife Carla Bruni.
The scandal, which has already been dubbed 'Sarkoleaks', could impact on Sarkozy's long-term hopes of reclaiming the presidency, says The Times.
The conversations were recorded by Patrick Buisson, a close political adviser of Sarkozy during his 2007-2012 presidency, who had reportedly placed a digital voice recorder in his jacket pocket without Sarkozy's knowledge. However, it is not clear how the tapes made their way into the public domain.
One of Sarkozy's closest allies, Henri Guaino, said the former president is feeling "rage" and a sense of "betrayal". Sarkozy and Bruni today filed a request for an emergency injunction to prevent any other similar recordings being published.
Buisson's lawyers said that their client had recorded the meetings purely for professional reasons to save the effort of taking notes. They said that most of the hundreds of hours of conversations had been destroyed and those that have been made public must have been stolen.
Buisson can be heard on the tapes flattering Sarkozy on his performance in a televised address, but later refers to him as "the little guy" and "the dwarf" behind his back, according to Le Canard Enchaine, the investigative weekly that published the leaks.
Bruni can also be heard making fun of her husband's earnings. "I thought I was marrying a guy that made some money... I had lucrative contracts and now nothing," she says.
The former model and singer, now 46, boasts about financing Sarkozy's life and her plans to find a "cool little contract" to advertise anti-wrinkle cream.
Sarkozy jokes that he will live off his wife's earnings: "I tell you, my future is to run the cash register." After her husband left office, Bruni did go on to make large sums from advertising contracts, including Bulgari's Diva Jewellery Collection.