Known for being over sensitive about his height, French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly made twenty short people stand behind him, as he delivered a keynote televised speech recently.
According to reports, the President's aides "vetted" people at the Faurecia motor technology plant in Caligny, south of Caen, Normandy, to stand near Sarkozy to make him look taller than his 5ft 5ins frame.
News broadcast on TV channels across France showed the people selected for the purpose as revealing that they were chosen for being the shortest members of the Faurecia workforce, and made to stand were Sarkozy delivered his speech on the car industry.
Sarkozy was also mocked at for standing on his toes during a photo shoot with his wife Carla Bruni and the Obamas at Strasbourg, earlier this year.
However, this time around Sarkozy has been accused of manipulating his media image for political ends.
An Elysee Palace spokesman rubbished the allegations.
"It's totally absurd and grotesque," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Faurecia refused to comment on Sarkozy's visit.