PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to sue a publishing company unless it withdraws a Sarkozy doll that comes with a “voodoo manual” instructing readers to plant pins in it, his lawyer said Tuesday.
The doll is emblazoned with some of Sarkozy’s most famous quotes such as “Get lost you pathetic arsehole” — his words to a bystander who refused to shake his hand at a farm show last year. Readers are encouraged to plant pins in the quotes.
“Nicolas Sarkozy has instructed me to remind you that, whatever his status and fame, he has exclusive and absolute rights over his own image,” lawyer Thierry Herzog wrote to publishers K&B in a letter published by newspaper Le Monde.
Confirming details to Reuters, Herzog said Sarkozy would sue the publishing firm if it didn’t respond and pull the product. K&B has issued 20,000 copies of the manual and doll.
The company has also issued a Segolene Royal doll representing Sarkozy’s rival in last year’s presidential election. Her lawyer said she was also considering legal action.
Voodoo is a religion rooted in West Africa that is practiced in parts of the Caribbean, especially Haiti, and parts of the southern United States.
According to a widespread belief, voodoo worshippers can plant pins in dolls representing their enemies to curse them from afar. However, voodoo experts say the practice has been widely misunderstood and misrepresented by outsiders.
Reporting by Thierry Leveque, writing by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Matthew Jones