Carla Bruni

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Trump Slandered Carla Bruni

In the course of our research of Donald Trump, we encountered many articles claiming that he once dated Italian super-model and former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni. The evidence that Trump lied about his relationship to Bruni and slandered her is very clear. Trump posed as his own publicist to brag of a relationship with her, and publicly denied the rumor of his relationship with her even as he was transparently but anonymously pushing the same rumor to journalists. Bruni, meanwhile, has always been consistent in her denials that there was ever a relationship between her and Trump. Trump's slanders against Bruni have been repeated uncritically many times over the years, despite the lack of evidence that they are true. Bruni is an incredibly accomplished professional and deserves to be known for her own achievements, not for Donald Trump's baseless slander.

Trump Lied About Dating Carla Bruni

  • June, 1991: Mainstream news outlets publish reports in New York tabloids that Donald Trump had dumped Marla Maples and begun dating Italian supermodel Carla Bruni. “It looks like Marla Maples' dreams of becoming the next Mrs. Donald Trump are rapidly fading. That is, if the New York tabloids can be believed. They are reporting that he has told Maples, the other woman in his split with wife Ivana, to pack her bags and move on. The financially embattled developer is seeing an Italian model, Carla Bruni, a former girlfriend of rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. According to Trump aide Norma Foerderer, all it means is that her boss is playing the field. Foerderer denied that Trump told the pneumatic Marla to pack her bags. ‘I think ... he's not leaving Marla for this other woman, I think it was just too much too soon.’” (Washington Post, June 27, 1991)
  • Reports that Donald Trump was dating Carla Bruni were attributed to an anonymous source described as “very very close to Trump.” “Casting her aside like an old pair of Guccis during last weekend's first anniversary celebration of his Taj Mahal casino, The Donald abruptly informed Georgia Peach Marla Maples that 1. He's not ready for a commitment. 2. He feels too much residual Ivana pain. 3. He needs space. 4. Er, ahem, Marla, meet Carla. Trump and Maples ‘sources’ -- one deliciously described as ‘very, very close to Trump’ -- have confirmed that The Donald has decided to pursue other ritualistic mating opportunities, among them Italian model Carla Bruni, the Sicilian Sizzler, upon whose wall also hang the twanged heartstrings of rocker Eric Clapton.” (Miami Herald, June 27, 1991)
  • Rumors that Trump was dating Bruni were spread by Trump, posing as a publicist named “John Miller.” “When news broke last week that Donald Trump had traded Marla Maples for Italian model Carla Bruni, People called for a comment. A man claiming to be a Trump publicist named John Miller returned the call in five minutes. Miller confirmed it all, People says, bragging that ‘important, beautiful women,’ including Madonna and Kim Basinger, ‘call (Trump) all the time.’ Bruni, he said, ‘dropped (a big rock star, who is married) for Donald.’ Bruni has been out with rocker Eric Clapton, and was rumored to have had a relationship with Mick Jagger. The more Miller talked, the more he sounded like The Donald himself. So the reporter played the taped phone call for columnist Cindy Adams, who has known Trump for years. ‘There is no John Miller,' she said, 'That's Donald.’” (USA Today, July 1, 1991)
  • On the record, Donald Trump denied that he was dating Carla Bruni despite spreading the rumor himself. “Has DONALD TRUMP traded Marla for Carla? Reports in New York Newsday that Mr. Trump is seeing a lot of CARLA BRUNI and less of MARLA MAPLES were denied yesterday. ‘He's seeing a lot of women,’ said an assistant to Mr. Trump who did not want to be named. ‘Until now, he's been pretty involved with Marla, but it's too soon to settle down with one woman, particularly since he's focusing on his financial difficulties of the past year.’ […] For readers with short memories or deeper concerns, Miss Maples was said to be the reason for IVANA TRUMP leaving Mr. Trump last February. They divorced in December.” (New York Times, June 27, 1991)
  • Carla Bruni accused Trump of lying, saying “I’m deeply embarrassed by it” and described Trump as “obviously a lunatic” seeking “to feed his hunger for publicity” by slandering her. “Carla Bruni, who appeared ever so briefly to come between Donald Trump and his impending bride, Marla Maples, said the whole business was a Trumped-up affair. ‘Trump is obviously a lunatic,’ the Sicilian Sizzler says in London's Daily Mail this week. ‘It's so untrue and I'm deeply embarrassed by it.’ The model said she met the Donald but once ‘about a year ago at a big charity party in New York. And I haven't seen him since, of that I'm sure.’ Bruni said Trump dreamed up the match to feed his hunger for publicity.” (Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1991)
  • Donald Trump continued to spread the lie that he had dated Carla Bruni, adding inventions over time like the claim that he had “dumped Carla for Marla. “They've been together for 15 years and have three children, but now the marriage vows taken 20 months ago on the island of Bali by MICK JAGGER and JERRY HALL are apparently coming asunder. […] The newspaper said that Ms. Hall blamed CARLA BRUNI, an Italian model, for the estrangement. Ms. Bruni is 25 years younger than Mr. Jagger, who just turned 49. She has been linked in the past with Eric Clapton and Donald Trump (who recalled during an interview yesterday, ‘I dumped Carla for Marla’).” (New York Times, August 1, 1992)
  • Bruni continued to deny that she had dated Trump or Jagger, claiming that she had only had tea with Trump on three occasions and had only met Jagger once. “She admits to a ‘strong relationship’ with Eric Clapton. She maintains she only had tea with Donald Trump - and a chaperon - three times. And Mick Jagger? ‘I'm using the old Japanese proverb,’ Carla Bruni tells the November Vanity Fair. ‘‘Turn your tongue a hundred times in your mouth before saying anything.'’ Then the chatty Bruni goes monosyllabic. Met him? ‘Once.’ Met him in Tahiti after Jerry Hall gave birth to their third child? ‘No.” […] If Carla only met Jagger once, then, why has Hall publicly denounced the Italian model? ‘Ask her,’ snips Bruni.” (USA Today, October 9, 1992)
  • Trump wrote an angry letter to Vanity Fair, which included a paragraph too vulgar to print, for publishing Bruni’s denial that the two had ever dated. “Talk about poison celeb pens. Check out these intriguing letters-to-the-editor appearing in popular mags: […] Donald Trump, on the other hand, exercises NO sense of humor in a letter to be published in January's Vanity Fair. The mogul is seriously miffed about Carla Bruni's reflections on their relationship in the October issue. According to the Italian model, there was no relationship with Trump. Trump begs her pardon. ‘Carla wanted me to break up with Marla Maples, whereupon she would leave Mick (Jagger),’ writes Trump, who is upset that the magazine did not call him to verify Bruni's statements. Her denials are all part of a ‘vendetta,’ he writes. One especially mean paragraph will be deleted in VF. But not because it'll spare Bruni's feelings. Trump sent her a copy for good measure.” (USA Today, November 10, 1992)

Trump's Lies About Bruni Have Fueled Years of Media Slut-Shaming

  • Trump’s lies about dating Bruni prompted mainstream press outlets to engage in “slut-shaming” of Bruni, publicly discussing her alleged dalliances with other celebrities. “In the brief flurry surrounding Donald Trump's diversionary wooing of Italian model Carla Bruni, all the tabs made much of the fact that she was Eric Clapton's old girlfriend and Mick Jagger's before that. The Globe added that to atone for his fling with Bruni, Jagger had to buy wife Jerry Hall a 20-room, $4 million Georgian mansion in London.” (Washington Post, July 17, 1991)
  • Despite Bruni’s denials, reporters continued to report that she had dated Trump, in many cases accusing her of bootstrapping off of Trump’s fame, when in fact it was Trump who had dishonestly exploited her fame. “Models go-go danced on the counters of Gianni Versace's new Versus Boutique Saturday. Video monitors showed the commercial for his new fragrance, featuring a sometimes bare-chested Carla Bruni (a model made famous by dating Donald Trump). On Sunday, the debut of a collection of classic Versace styles, called Signatures, took place in his Milanese palazzo: printed jackets, blouses and pants with his signature, bold graphics and classical motifs.” (New York Times, Woody Hochswender, October 8, 1991)
  • New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams helped promoted Trump’s lie that he was dating Carla Bruni, describing herself as one “of us close to” Trump. “Donald Trump's sporting a new model. The mogul dumped Marla Maples this past weekend (he wants to play the field), and is focusing on Sicilian supermodel Carla Bruni. She's a lean, leggy brunette, a polar departure from Trump's streak of busty blondes. […] New York Post columnist and longtime Trump confidante Cindy Adams says Trump met his sizzling new flame at a New York fashion show several months ago. ‘But he is not in any way going to tie himself with anyone,’ she says. What about Marla? ‘He was never, ever, ever, ever going to marry her,’ Adams says. ‘This is not a surprise to any of us close to him.’” (USA Today, June 27, 1991)
  • In addition to denying that she had dated Trump, Bruni denied allegations that she was having an affair with Mick Jagger, pointing out that she was dating a French actor named Vincent Perez at the time. “Italian model Carla Bruni is baring her claws. After being touted as the woman behind the Mick Jagger-Jerry Hall split, Bruni denies the rumors, and slams Hall's public airing of her marital problems. ‘'I think people should learn not to wash their dirty linen in public. Maybe in Texas (Hall's home state) they think it shows class, but I think her behavior shows a big lack of discretion and elegance. It's not the way I would behave if I were married.’ ‘If you're fed up with your man, you should talk to him, not the world, at least that's what they teach us in Italy.’ Bruni - linked in the past with Eric Clapton and Donald Trump - said she's more bothered about how her boyfriend, French actor Vincent Perez, will react to the news. But, he's filming ‘in a remote part of Asia where there are no papers, thank God.’” (USA Today, August 4, 1992)
  • Claudia Schiffer accused Carla Bruni of spending several nights with Prince Albert of Monaco, who she had been romantically involved with. “Gossip tidbit from Mike Walker: Although she has announced she is not marrying Prince Albert of Monaco, 21-year-old super-model Claudia Schiffer ‘exploded’ when she learned that Albert and Italian model Carla Bruni recently spent several nights in a stateroom on a yacht. Carla's that ‘other model,’ once linked to Donald Trump and Jerry Hall's reason for splitting with Mick Jagger.” (Palm Beach Post, September 25, 1992)
  • Sixteen years later, as Bruni dated French president Nicolas Sarkozy, American reporters continued repeating the false claim that she had once dated Trump. “Two months after his divorce, is President Nicolas Sarkozy back on the dating scene? Sarkozy was spotted at Disneyland Paris last weekend with supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni, who once dated Mick Jagger and Donald Trump. The president's office would not comment, but reports speculated the very public appearance -- in a crowded theme park, with paparazzi on their trail -- amounted to an announcement that they are together. […] When Sarkozy and Bruni, an Italian-born French citizen, visited the theme park Saturday, photographers openly snapped the pair, and they seemed at ease with the attention, the respected newsweekly L'Express said. Christophe Barbier, editor of L'Express, said he called Bruni, whom he described as a friend, before going public with the story. ‘She confirmed the relationship,’ he told LCI TV.” (Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2007)
  • 2010: A hard-line Iranian newspaper called Bruni a “prostitute” who should be put to death, citing her alleged affairs with Trump and Jagger. “Iran sought to distance itself from harsh remarks by a hard-line newspaper, which called France's first lady a ‘prostitute’ who deserved to die for condemning the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery. […] The Kayhan daily first called Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a ‘prostitute’ Saturday, repeating its criticism Tuesday with the addition that the French first lady deserved to die. […] Kayhan called Bruni-Sarkozy ‘the Italian prostitute’ because of her alleged affairs with several famous figures, including Mick Jagger, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump.” (Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2010)

Bruni Has a Biography and Professional Achievements Often Elided to Focus on Her Sexual History

  • Carla Bruni was the heiress to an industrialist’s fortune, spoke three languages and had a successful career as a super model, but her personal achievements were often passed over to instead list men she had been accused of dating. “Bruni was not the typical supermodel. She was born in Turin, the daughter of Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, an opera-composing industrialist whose family owned the Ceat tire empire. Her mother is a concert pianist. The family left for Paris in the mid-1970s after too many kidnappings of industrialists and their families. Bruni, who speaks three languages, attended finishing school in Switzerland and studied art in Paris before launching a modeling career that led to her being on more than 250 magazine covers as well as the face of the Guess? jeans advertising campaign. By the time she quit, she was earning a reported $7.5 million a year.” (Los Angeles Times, January 8, 2008)
  • After her modeling career, Carla Bruni became a highly successful pop singer, selling millions of albums. “After the early risers and the guests with children have left, when the party has been whittled down to the philosophers, the poets and the drunkards, I like to turn the lights low and listen to the breathy voice of the first lady of France. That would be Carla Bruni, the newly espoused wife of Nicolas Sarkozy, the recently elected president of the Fifth Republic. Nobody sings sexy better than Bruni. […] But it's been sloppy and condescending shorthand to call her simply a "supermodel." A model she was, and super, too. But the Italian-born Bruni is also a compelling singer and a gifted songwriter, and a surprising master of le billing and le cooing that makes French song so erotic, and intimate. Bruni, whose 2002 debut album has sold in the millions, writes lyrics with a delightful sense of the silly and the paradoxical. They are rhymed with inexorable cleverness and filled with that very Gallic metaphysical cynicism that has made love a delicious blood sport for the French.” (Washington Post, February 4, 2008)
  • Carla Bruni married the French President in 2008 and served as the First Lady of France for many years. “Just as French President Nicolas Sarkozy had predicted, the news media did not find out about his wedding until after it happened. Sarkozy, 53, married supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni, 40, in a small ceremony Saturday attended by close friends and family at the Elysee Palace, the president's official residence. […] Sarkozy reportedly met Bruni -- who has been romantically linked with celebrities including Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump -- at a private party Nov. 14, about a month after he divorced his second wife, who now uses the name Cecilia Ciganer. He and Ciganer were married for about 11 years.” (Washington Post, February 3, 2008)