Published September 16, 2010
Maybe life in the White House isn't so bad after all.
First lady Michelle Obama's office and the French Embassy both denied on Thursday that Obama ever told French first lady Carla Bruni that being first lady of the United States is "hell," as reported in an eye-catching excerpt of a new biography of Bruni.
"The first lady never said that," Obama's press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said.
"Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy distances herself completely from the content of the book," French Embassy spokesman Emmanuel Lenain said in a statement. "The words attributed to the first lady of the United States were never said."
Lenain told Fox News the embassy did not issue its statement at the request of the French government. He said he did not know where the Obama quote came from.
The U.K. Daily Mail newspaper revealed the quote in a review of "Carla and the Ambitious" in Thursday editions.
"Don't ask! It's hell. I can't stand it!" Michelle Obama was said to have told Bruni during a private conversation at the White House during an official visit by France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, last March.
Bruni, a singer and former model, reportedly collaborated on the book with writers Yves Derai and Michael Darmon as a push-back to author Besma Lahouri's unauthorized biography of the wildly untraditional political spouse. That book, Carla -- A Secret Life," was released Wednesday. "Carla and the Ambitious" is due out on Friday.
Lenain said "Carla and the Ambitious" was not authorized, and that only the authors are responsible for its contents.
He later said the first lady has "never given her agreement to a biographical work."