Learning English - Words in the News
01 February, 2008 - Published 14:01 GMT
Sarkozy vs. Ryanair
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his girlfriend Carla Bruni are suing low-cost airline Ryanair over a picture of the couple it used in an advert. Bruni, a former model, is seeking 500,000 euros - the amount she says her photo normally costs. This report from Hugh Schofield:
The advertisement appeared in French newspapers earlier this week as part of a Ryanair promotion for cut price fares. It showed a photograph of the presidential couple with a thought bubble coming from Ms Bruni's head containing the words: "With Ryanair, all my family can attend the wedding".
Nicolas Sarkozy and the model-turned-singer Carla Bruni have had a much-reported whirlwind romance and rumours of a marriage are very much in the air.
Ryanair said that the advertisement was meant to be a bit of fun - but in France, the laws on privacy and exploitation of a person's image are very strict. Carla Bruni is suing the airline for half-a-million euros - around seven-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollars. Her lawyers told the court this is the amount she could charge for the use of her picture in an advertising campaign. The president is asking for a symbolic one euro in damages.
Ryanair said it's willing to pay ten thousand euros to settle the case. But it's called the half-million euro claim by Ms Bruni totally unjustified. She had, the airline has said, engaged in an open, widely publicised and internationally-reported relationship with President Sarkozy. The court will deliver its ruling next Tuesday.
cut price fares
rumours of a marriage are very much in the air
to settle the case
deliver its ruling