French President Nicolas Sarkozy, shown here getting angry at some Europeans about something, has threatened to sue a company that has been marketing a Sarkozy voodoo doll.
The doll bears a number of colorful quotes from the outspoken statesman (such as “Get lost, you pathetic ______,” which he allegedly said last year to someone who refused to shake his hand) and comes with a manual telling buyers to stick pins in the quotes. An unamused Sarkozy directed his lawyer to send out a cease-and-desist letter, which was published in Le Monde yesterday.
“Nicolas Sarkozy has instructed me to remind you that, whatever his status and fame, he has exclusive and absolute rights over his own image,” said the letter, in a statement that I am pretty sure is false, at least taken literally, although I am having the research department check on the scope of the “fair use” doctrine in the EC. The lawyer said that if the company did not recall the 20,000 dolls it has issued, Sarkozy would sue them.
The company, which is also marketing a doll of Segolene Royal, Sarkozy’s rival in the last election, has called Sarkozy’s reaction “totally disproportionate.” I agree—instead he should immediately make a voodoo doll representing the company and go on TV to stick pins in it, which would have the twin advantages of being a lot cheaper than paying his lawyer and also making him look like less of a dick.
This is not the first time Sarkozy has sued someone while in office—just last week he sued a former intelligence officer for libel and invasion of privacy after parts of the officer’s diaries were published—but it is the only example I can find of any world leader threatening a voodoo-doll manufacturer.