Carla Bruni embarrassed by Berlusconi’s ‘tanned Obama’ comment

November 10th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 10 (IANS) Carla Bruni, the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has criticised the prime minister of Italy for referring to American President-elect Barack Obama’s “suntan.”"When I hear Silvio Berlusconi… joke about the fact that Obama is ‘always tanned’, that makes me feel funny,” she told ‘le Journal du Dimanche’ newspaper.

“That will be put down to humour. But often, I am very happy that I have become French,” said Bruni, who became a French citizen after marrying Sarkozy, The Times newspaper reported Monday.

Prime Minister Berlusconi, on a visit to Moscow last week, said the relative youth of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, 43, and Obama, 47, should make it easier for Moscow and Washington to work together.

“I told the president that (Obama) has everything needed in order to reach deals with him: He’s young, handsome and even tanned,” he was reported to have said through an interpreter.

Berlusconi, who has been slammed in Italy, defended the remark against critics, calling it “a great compliment.”

“If they have the vice of not having a sense of humour, worse for them,” he said.

The outspoken Bruni, while backing a campaign called ‘Yes, we can’ for affirmative action in France, also attacked France’s failure to integrate black and African immigrants.

“Power (in France) has often had the same face: that of men who are white and ageing. That is why I can identify with this appeal. Without political measures we will be waiting too long,” she said.

Bruni revealed that during a modelling assignment in the American state of South Carolina in 1992, she was asked to eat in private with her fellow-models as the local restaurant would not accept the presence of one of her colleagues - black supermodel Naomi Campbell.

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