December 17, 2008 in Features

People: French First Lady fights raw image

Associated Press photo

(Full-size photo)

At first blush, French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s suit against the design company Pardon seems like too little, too late.

The case involves an ad for a bag manufactured by Pardon, a company based on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

Bruni-Sarkozy’s problem? The ad features her posing nude.

Bruni-Sarkozy admits that she did pose nude. She’s not disputing that.

Turns out, though, that the pose dates to 1993, and Bruni-Sarkozy wasn’t then trying to sell bags. She was participating in an anti-AIDS campaign.

“Neither Carla Bruni nor the photographer has given consent for the use of the photo,” the BBC reports lawyer Gesche Le Fur saying at a court hearing in Saint-Denis, capital of the French Indian Ocean island.

At a New York auction in April, an original print of the picture – taken by Swiss-born fashion photographer Michel Comte – sold for $91,000.

Bruni-Sarkozy is claiming $160,000 in damages.

Pardon head man Peter Mertes said the 10,000 bags had been pulled from the shelves. But he called the $160,000 figure “excessive.”

Quaids get early Christmas gift

Don’t mess with Dennis Quaid’s kids. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center did, and it cost the Los Angeles hospital a cool $750,000. That’s the amount reached in a settlement between the hospital, Quaid and his wife on Monday. The settlement was for the hospital’s administering too much of the blood-thinner Heparin to the Quaids’ newborn twins in November 2007.

Watts lights up over new baby

We reported Monday that Naomi Watts and boyfriend Liev Schreiber had a baby boy on Saturday. What we didn’t report is the baby’s name: According to Robin Baum, Watts’ publicist, Samuel Kai Schreiber weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces.

Leo wants to be Eminem?

The New York Post likes to report celebrity sightings around the Big Apple. One of the stranger reports involves one of the paper’s spies seeing Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Simmons and Jay-Z hanging out together in the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

Lifestyles of the rich and lustful

Ever wonder what happened to Robin Leach, he of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”? Seems the 67-year-old celeb stalker is running, a Web site he created to give everyone an inside look at the desert gambling hide-away.

“This place goes on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Leach told the New York Post. “People come here to blow off steam and to do things they shouldn’t do with people they shouldn’t be doing them with. We’re trying to give outsiders a glimpse into all of that.”

The birthday bunch

Publisher Bob Guccione is 78. Actor Bernard Hill is 64. Actor Ernie Hudson is 63. Actor-comedian Eugene Levy is 62. Country singer Sharon White of The Whites is 55. Actor Barry Livingston is 55. Actor Bill Pullman is 55. Director-producer Peter Farrelly is 52. Singer Sarah Dallin of Bananarama is 47. Actress Milla Jovovich is 33. Actor-singer Nat Wolff (“The Naked Brothers Band”) is 14.

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