Carla Bruni, now known by her name of use Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi; Italian pronunciation: [ˈkarla dʒilˈbɛrta ˈbruːni teˈdeski]; 23 December 1967), is an Italian-French singer, songwriter and former model. She is married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Early life and family
Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi was born in Turin, Italy. Bruni is legally the daughter of Italian concert pianist Marisa Borini and industrialist and classical composer Alberto Bruni Tedeschi. However, in 2008 Bruni told Vanity Fair that her biological father is Italian-born Brazilian grocery magnate Maurizio Remmert. When Remmert met Marisa Borini at a concert in Turin he was a 19-year-old classical guitarist, and their affair lasted six years. Her sister is actress and movie director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. She had a brother, Virginio Bruni Tedeschi (1959–4 July 2006), who died from complications of HIV/AIDS. One of her maternal great-grandfathers was Italian, while the rest of her mother's ancestry is French.
Bruni is heiress to the fortune created by the Italian tire manufacturing company CEAT, founded in the 1920s by her legal grandfather, Virginio Bruni Tedeschi. The company was sold in the 1970s to Pirelli (the brand lives on via its former subsidiary in India, founded in 1958). The family moved to France in 1975, reportedly to escape the threat of kidnapping by the Red Brigades, a Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary group active in Italy in the 1970s. Bruni grew up in France from age seven, and attended boarding school in Switzerland. She went to Paris to study art and architecture, but left school at 19 to become a model.
From her biological father, she has a half-sister, Consuelo Remmert.
1987–1996: early career and modeling
Bruni signed with City Models at age 19.Paul Marciano, president and creative director of Guess? Inc., came across her picture among composite cards of aspiring models and chose her to model with Estelle Lefébure in campaigns for Guess? jeans. Bruni subsequently worked for designers and fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Yves Saint-Laurent, Shiatzy Chen, Chanel and Versace. By the 1990s, Bruni was among the 20 highest-paid fashion models, earning US$7.5 million in her peak year. While modeling, Bruni dated Eric Clapton, then Mick Jagger. On 11 April 2008, a 1993 nude photograph of Bruni taken during her modelling career sold at auction for US$91,000 (€65,093) – more than 60 times the expected price. She was a modeling subject of a 1999 trompe-l'œil wool-knit dress body painting by Joanne Gair that is included in Gair's second book, Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair.
1997–2005: music career and debut album
In 1997, Bruni quit the world of fashion to devote herself to music. She sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc in 1999, based on which he composed six tracks on his 2000 album Si j'étais elle.
In 2002, her debut album Quelqu'un m'a dit, produced by Louis Bertignac, was released in Europe with success in Francophone countries. Three songs from the album appear in Hans Canosa's 2005 American film Conversations with Other Women, the song Le Plus Beau du quartier was used in H&M's Christmas 2006 commercial, and the title track was featured in the 2003 movie Le Divorce and in the 2009 movie (500) Days of Summer. In January 2010, her song "L'amoureuse" was featured in an episode of NBC's Chuck, "Chuck vs. First Class".
In 2004 Carla Bruni won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards () recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.
In 2005, she wrote the lyrics for ten out of twelve songs for Louis Bertignac's new album Longtemps, and performed two duets with him on the album, Les Frôleuses and Sans toi. In 2006, Bruni recorded "Those Little Things", an English-language translation of the Serge Gainsbourg song "Ces petits riens" for the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited. She took part in the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in a parade paying tribute to the Italian flag.
2006–2008: No Promises and Comme si de rien n'était
Her second album, No Promises containing poems by William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson, W. H. Auden, Dorothy Parker, Walter de la Mare, and Christina Rossetti, set to music, was released in January 2007.
She continued recording after her marriage. She released her third album Comme si de rien n'était on 11 July 2008. The songs are self-penned except for one rendition of "You Belong to Me" and another song featuring Michel Houellebecq's poem La Possibilité d'une île set to music. Royalties from the album will be donated to unidentified charitable and humanitarian causes.
2009–present: new studio album and other projects
Bruni sang for Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday on 18 July 2009 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
In September 2009, she recorded a duet with Harry Connick, Jr. for the French edition of his album Your Songs. They sang The Beatles' song "And I Love Her". The album was released in France on 26 October 2009.
Following months of speculation, in a television interview broadcast on 23 November 2009, Bruni revealed that she had accepted a role in a forthcoming Woody Allen film. She admitted her reasoning for embarking on the Paris production; "I'm not an actress at all. Perhaps I'll be completely hopeless but I can't miss an opportunity like this one. When I'm a grandmother I'd like to be able to say I made a film with Woody Allen." The film, Midnight in Paris, was released in 2011; Bruni appeared as a guide at the Musée Rodin, who discusses sculptor Auguste Rodin with the leading characters.
In January 2010, she was named in Tatler’s top 10 best-dressed list.
In September 2010, she contributed a cover of David Bowie's "Absolute Beginners" for the War Child charity record We Were So Turned On: A Tribute to David Bowie (Manimal Vinyl). They also released the track as a split 7" vinyl split with UK legends, Duran Duran.
Italian singer/songwriter Simone Cristicchi's entry in the 2010 San Remo Italian Song Festival was the song "Meno Male", with the chorus lyrics of "Meno male che c'è Carla Bruni" ("Thank goodness for Carla Bruni"). The song appears to mock Bruni and her husband, but Cristicchi stated in an interview for Italian television weekly TV Sorrisi e Canzoni "I use the sarcasm to say our way of being Italian, [we are] always ready to follow any type of gossip and are uninterested in real problems." Bruni was to be a guest singer at the 2010 San Remo festival but withdrew from participating, purportedly because she was offended by Cristicchi's song.
In April 2013 Bruni's fourth album Little French Songs was released.
Marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy
Bruni met the recently divorced French president Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2007, at a dinner party. After a brief romance they married on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris. The marriage is Bruni's first and Sarkozy's third. Bruni obtained French nationality not long afterwards. She has since made contradictory statements as to whether she still holds Italian citizenship as well. On 28th April 2014 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she confirmed that she still holds Italian citizenship.
Following her marriage to Sarkozy, in February 2008, Bruni continued accompanying him on state visits, including to the United Kingdom in March 2008, which created a sensation in the international press and for the public in both Britain and France. She had an office and staff at her disposal in the East wing of the Élysée Palace.
There was controversy on the eve of the state visit to the UK, with the publication by Christie's auction house of a nude photograph of Bruni taken during her career as a model. The photograph sold for $91,000. There was also great interest in Bruni's wardrobe, which was Christian Dior, seen as a diplomatic choice, being a French design house designed by John Galliano, a British designer. Another controversy was the use of a popular photo of the French President and Bruni in the print advertising of Ryanair. The couple was awarded damages by a French court which they donated to Les Restos du Cœur, an organisation that provides meals to the homeless.
In December 2008, Bruni sued the makers of a bag featuring a nude shot taken during her supermodelling youth. Clothes designer Pardon has produced 10,000 of the shopping bags emblazoned with the nude photo taken in 1993, showing Bruni staring at the camera with her crossed hands covering her crotch.
On 19 October 2011, Carla Bruni gave birth to a daughter, Giulia, in the Clinique de la Muette, in Paris.
Philanthropy and charity work
Involved for years in humanitarian and charity work, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy became world ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against HIV in 2008. In April 2009, she launched the Fondation Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, to promote access to culture and knowledge for all.
In a letter of support to the association People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), she took a position against fur in fashion.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is involved in various charitable activities. She gave her royalties for her album Comme si de rien n’était to the Fondation de France, and supports different events or causes, such as the Born HIV Free campaign, animal rights, the Nelson Mandela foundation, the French association AIDES for AIDS research, the French association La Chaîne de l'Espoir or the association Warchild UK. She also participated in a concert with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin for the 91st birthday of Nelson Mandela, and recorded a song for the album We Were So Turned On: A Tribute to David Bowie. She is involved in the promotion of young artists, and did a duet with French singer Marc Lavoine for the Prix Constantin, an annual French music prize awarded to newer artists. Furthermore, she supported French guitarist Jean-Pierre Danel's charity album, and sold a self-portrait to the benefit of third-world children. Bruni met the Dalai Lama in August 2008 at Lerab Ling, a Buddhist temple on a hill in Languedoc, France. Bruni received Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to France in September 2008. Bruni visited New York City in September 2008 with her husband, where she attended a meeting on poverty and female mortality with Queen Rania and Wendi Murdoch, met for lunch with First Lady Laura Bush at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Symposium on Advancing Global Literacy and attended the General Assembly in the UN with her husband. She also attended state dinners with the Emir of Qatar and wife and with Iraq's president in Paris in 2009. She and Sheikha Mozah (wife of Emir of Qatar) will be working together on the topic of education promotion. Bruni visited Doha on invitation of Sheikha Mozah in November 2009. She also took cause for a woman in Iran, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, fighting a death penalty by stoning.
In April 2009, Carla was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III on the occasion of the couple's Spanish State Visit.
In October 2009 she launched CarlaBruniSarkozy.org, a website largely dealing with her philanthropic work. In a report by Court des Comptes from July 2013, this web site was paid 410000eur ( about $500K ) by the tax payer.
In January 2010, Carla visited Benin, her second visit as ambassador for The Global Fund. She also received Haitian orphans who survived the Haiti 2010 earthquake and were adopted by French families.
She was critical of Pope Benedict XVI on the controversial topic of religion and AIDS. According to Le Canard Enchainé, Bruni was asked by Vatican officials not to join her husband in an official visit for fear that the Italian newspapers would reprint racy pictures dating from her modelling career.
In late August 2010, Iran's state-run daily paper Kayhan called Bruni-Sarkozy a 'prostitute' after she had condemned the stoning sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for adultery in an open letter, along with several French celebrities. The paper later also called for Bruni to be put to death for supporting Sakineh Ashtiani, and for what the paper described as Bruni's moral corruption and having had extra-marital affairs herself. Even though Kayhan is a state-sponsored paper and it continued its tirade against Bruni along with other state-run Iranian media, Iranian officials tried to distance themselves from that violent stance and openly condemned it, while a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry criticized the comments as being 'unacceptable'. President Ahmedinejad also condemned the remark made by the paper.
It has been claimed that Bruni has been involved with Louis Bertignac, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Léos Carax, Charles Berling, Arno Klarsfeld, Vincent Pérez and former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius.
While living with Jean-Paul Enthoven, Bruni started an affair with his son, philosophy professor Raphaël Enthoven (the song "Raphäel" from Bruni's album Quelqu'un m'a dit is named after him), who was at the time married to novelist Justine Lévy, daughter of philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. Bruni later denied ever having an affair with Raphaël's father in an interview published in Vanity Fair, "I never slept with him, not even a minute."
The affair and the end of her marriage inspired Justine's 2004 book Rien de Grave (published in English in 2005 as Nothing Serious).
Bruni and Raphaël had a son, Aurélien, in 2001. Bruni told Vanity Fair that the couple broke up in May 2007 because Raphaël thought their relationship did not have a commitment.
- 2003: Quelqu'un m'a dit
- 2007: No Promises
- 2008: Comme si de rien n'était
- 2013: Little French Songs
|2009||Somebody Told Me About. . . Carla Bruni||Herself||80-minute documentary film|
|2011||Midnight in Paris||Museum guide||Directed by Woody Allen
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
- France: Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2003
- Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III, 2009
- Benin: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit, 2010
- Gair, Joanne; Klum, Heidi (foreword), (2006). Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair. Universe Publishing. plates section. ISBN 0-7893-1509-2.
- at the Internet Movie Database
- at the Fashion Model Directory
- – Expatica, 11 February 2008