Skip to main content

Bruni denies Michelle Obama likened White House life to 'hell'

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Bruni: Mrs. Obama never said job is hell
  • "Michelle Obama never said such a thing," Bruni says
  • "Anyone can, you know, fantasize and print it"

New York (CNN) -- France's first lady Carla Bruni denied Monday that her U.S. counterpart ever told her that life in the White House was "hell."

"Of course Michelle Obama never said such a thing," the former model told CNN at the French mission in Midtown. She arrived Monday at the United Nations on the arm of her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was attending a summit on global development.

The quote came from the unauthorized "Carla et les Ambitieux" ("Carla and the Ambitious"), written by Michael Darmon and Yves Derai and published last week.

In a passage about the French first couple's official visit to Washington last March, the book describes an official dinner at the White House in which Bruni reportedly asked Michelle Obama about life at the White House and her role as first lady.

Video: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in the spotlight

Michelle Obama reportedly responded that the job is like "hell" and that she can't stand it.

Bruni said Monday that she had not read the book and had no plans to take legal action against the authors. "France is a free country where anyone can, you know, fantasize and print it," she said, adding that taking legal action would simply give further publicity to the authors.

Read CNN's conversation with Bruni

"Second of all, it's not in my principle," she said. "You know -- I'm a democrat. I believe that everyone is allowed to say and write what they want."

The White House has also denied that Michelle Obama made the comment.

CNN was not able to reach the authors.

CNN's Hala Gorani contributed to this story.