French First Lady Carla Bruni and President Nicolas Sarkozy have emerged as the heroes in a new book that details the glamorous world inside the Elysée Palace.
Un Petit Tour en Enfer (A Little Trip in Hell) is the autobiography of Franck Demules, 43, who has worked as Bruni's confidant, driver and fixer for ten years.
AdvertisementA former actor and cocaine addict, Demules spent time in jail for fraud. In the book, he reveals that the First couple rescued him from alcohol.
He says that Bruni, 41, booked him into a clinic near Paris after he returned to the bottle last year during a bout of depression, reports The Times.
Bruni also proposed a new year's stay in "her friend Eric Clapton's [rehab] centre in the Caribbean". Demules' English was not good enough so he went to Quebec instead.
He added that on his return Sarkozy "in a kind way told me to think of the future", advising him to throw himself into work: "If you knew, Franck, how much effort I had to put in in order to get here," he said.
In the tome, Demules also described how in the mid-Nineties Bruni and her sister, Valeria, gave him lodgings and work after his wife had died of Aids.
Among other things, she paid for the schooling of his daughter, now 19, and helped him to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.