Michelle never said life `hell`: France, US

A book claims both French and American first ladies said their lives were hell with their spouses.

Updated: Sep 17, 2010, 17:34 PM IST

London: The French government and its embassy in the US have denied a controversial conversation detailed in a book which claims both the French and American first ladies agreed their lives were "hell" with their spouses.

According to the book, President Barak Obama`s wife Michelle told her French President Sarkozi`s wife Carla Bruni that life as in the White House was "hell". But, both the US and France have denied the claim, British newspaper Daily Mail reported.

Michelle Obama`s spokesman slapped down the claims taken from a new book - `Carla and the Ambitious`.

The book was written by journalists Michael Darmon and Yves Derai in what they claim is collaboration with Bruni. A spokesman at the French embassy in Washington, Emmanuel Lenain, told CBS News that Bruni was not involved in writing the book.

In the book, Bruni reveals that during a visit to the White House with her husband Nicolas Sarkozy last March, she asked Michelle about her new role.

"Don`t ask! It`s hell. I can`t stand it," the US first lady was quoted as responding.

The Elysee Palace has denied that Bruni co-operated with the biography. The French embassy in Washington also released a statement denying that Michelle Obama ever said those words.

The embassy said Bruni "distances herself completely" from the book.

But on Thursday, a CBS News radio reporter in Paris wrote in Twitter that the authors are standing by the quote. But they will not divulge their source, the British daily said.

"I could see how living in the WH could be `hell` at times: no privacy, press scrutiny, always on display. Even so, they ALL love it here," the reporter said.

The book is described by one of the French authors as "Carla in her own words". She appears to portray herself as demanding, spoilt, and selfish.

She also gives extraordinary insight into her life as the wife of a leader -- and her relationship with some of the most prominent figures in the world, including the American president.

Michelle is described as "the only one in (Carla`s) eyes able to challenge her for the title of the world`s sexiest and most glamorous first lady".

In the book, Bruni, the 42-year-old former model accuses French government officials of trying to "kill" her husband with too much work, and claims Sarkozy lets himself be "bullied" into complying.

IANS