Aug. 1, 2008 -- Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the first lady of France, sat down for an intimate conversation with Barbara Walters, during which they discussed everything from adultery to the first lady's career in the music industry.
The following is a transcript of their "20/20" interview. It has been slightly edited for narrative flow.
BARBARA WALTERS:I understand that when you were 7 years old you took guitar lessons and your teacher taught you "Oh, Susannah."
CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh, yes.
WALTERS:And so, you know it very well, in Italian, yeah?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yes, that's the first song I ever l — [PAUSE] but I, but I only know it in Italian.
WALTERS:OK. All right.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Are you sure?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Okay. [PAUSE] I hope American people won't mind me singing "Oh Susannah" in Italian.
[BRUNI-SARKOZY PLAYING GUITAR/SINGING "OH SUSANNAH"]
WALTERS:You have just won over the entire South.
Bruni-Sarkozy on Being a First Lady and an Artist
WALTERS:This is your third album. How do you expect people to be able to listen to your music and separate the artist from the wife of the President?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:It's very hard to separate both parts. And I don't expect people to separate them because I believe that it's impossible. What I hope is that if people like it, they like it; and if they don't like it, it doesn't have much to do with my husband, but much more to do with my music.
WALTERS:Do you want this album to preserve your own identity?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yes, I think it's, it's, the album was, symbolic for me of my identity. I hoped that, you know, France wouldn't mind about, you know, the wife of their President to having a job.
WALTERS:But you write about orgies and lovers…
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I write about passion.
WALTERS:Now, much of your album was written before you met your husband, but…
WALTERS:… this has been very controversial, one of your songs. OK, "You are my junk. More deadly than Afghan heroin. More dangerous than Colombian white powder." OK now, who are you writing about?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I'm writing about, it's not exactly me, and it's not about -- exactly someone. I'm writing about …when love is so passionate that it can be destructive, just like drugs.
Bruni-Sarkozy on Her Lovers
WALTERS:Yeah? Another lyric: "I am a child, despite my 30 lovers." Is that autobiographical, 30 lovers?
[OVERTALK]BRUNI-SARKOZY:No, of course, not. But "20 lovers" didn't sound good. "Ten lovers" doesn't sound, I mean, I'm talking about phonetics for this song.
WALTERS:So not 30 lovers. How many lovers?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh [LAUGHS], I mean -- I never counted my lovers.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:You know? And, and I was 40 years old when I met my husband, and of course, you know, I was not a 19-years-old young woman.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:So I, I have a past, and I can joke about it in my song, but the truth is that I have a past and I don't think it's shocking, you know? I think it would be shocking for me to pretend not to have any past. And also, it would be a lie.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I could have been provocative when I was a model and, and all the girls from my time were provocative. We were lucky enough to be famous, you know, the models of my generation. We were lucky enough to be interviewed, and we were all over the press. It's much exaggerated. See, that's, for instance, one of the part where my image doesn't have much to do with me.
The Label of Adulteress
WALTERS:Well, when we talk about your image, there are certain quotes that have been said about you. "Glamorous ambassador." "Femme fatale." "An adulteress."
BRUNI-SARKOZY:And a what?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:[LAUGHS] I was never married, how could I be an adulteress? … [LAUGHS]
WALTERS:You know what I'm saying. Who is the real you?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh, the real me is, um, much more simple, I guess. [PAUSE] I'm not really a femme fatale. I was never adulteress, since I never got married.
WALTERS:Well, but you were with men who were married.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:So they were adulterers, I guess, right?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I just got married with Nicolas, and I don't think I'll ever be adulteress.
Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger
BRUNI-SARKOZY: When I met Eric Clapton, I was a very young girl. I was 20 years old. And we were linked for a very short time, and then we became friends. And then we lost touch, which I'm really sorry about. But Mick Jagger is actually a very good friend of mine.
WALTERS:He was married when you met him…
BRUNI-SARKOZY:He was married, and we never had a romance the way it was written. We had first a friendship and then he got a divorce.
WALTERS:Not because of you?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh no! Not… [LAUGHS] no.
WALTERS:It's important to clear this up, Carla, because these are things we read.
WALTERS:That you broke up Mick Jagger's marriage.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh no, I didn't.
WALTERS:And that you broke up the marriage to the man who was the father of your child.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Oh really? No, not at all. He was actually, you know, going through a divorce when I met Rafael. And when I met Mick, he, he was married, but, but he divorced for, you know, I think he had a child with a woman -- in Brazil. So it didn't have much to do with me, I must say. [LAUGHS] And my husband is a complete different thing, you know. I married him. And everything was very clear from the beginning.
Bruni-Sarkozy on Monogamy
WALTERS:You were famous for saying that you were bored with monogamy.
WALTERS:What was wrong with monogamy?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:[PAUSE] I think I was just trying to be fun -- in the interview.
WALTERS:But you had said, "I don't care about fidelity, I don't believe in promises."
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I think promises are dangerous if you don't keep them.
'Love at First Sight'
WALTERS:You never wanted to marry.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:He is the first one who ask me to marry him.
WALTERS:He's the first one who ever…
WALTERS:So you can't tell me that the reason that you married Nicolas Sarkozy is because he's the first man who asked you to marry him!
BRUNI-SARKOZY:No, I married him -- because I'm crazy about him!
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I'm crazy in love with him.
WALTERS:Was it love at first sight? You met at a dinner party.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yeah, love at first sight.
WALTERS:What was it like? Yeah?
WALTERS:And that was it.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yeah, I saw him and that was it.
WALTERS:Oh really? Why?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Mmm. He walked into the room and something of -- his charm, [PAUSE] you know. [LAUGHS]
Bruni-Sarkozy on Adjusting to Her New Role
WALTERS:Did it worry you that you were marrying the President of France?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:No, it didn't really worry me, but it worries a lot -- most of the people. [LAUGHS]
WALTERS:When you made your state visit to England in March, just hours before there was a nude photograph of you that was suddenly published, that had been done 15 years earlier.
WALTERS:Did that upset you?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:No. What upset me is not me posing nude, which, you know, was not really so much nude, you know, but of course, it was a topless picture, I would say, artistic topless. What upset me is that it could upset the serious people that are working around my husband, or the French people, or the British people.
WALTERS:You've said about your husband that he protects you.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yes, he does.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Nice feeling? [LAUGHS] Brand new. [LAUGHS]
'I'd Love to Have More Children'
WALTERS:Your husband has three sons, you have one son. Do you want to have more children?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I'd love to have more children.
WALTERS:So I have to ask you because people are asking -- are you pregnant now?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:No. I wish I was, but I'm not.
Marriage: 'Adventure' and 'Fun'
WALTERS:Is marriage what you expected?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:It's actually much better.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I thought marriage was, some sort of -- something very quiet and very regular and very bourgeois. But I don't think it is at all, especially with Nicolas. It's full of adventure and full of fun.
WALTERS:OK, so will you take back those words that monogamy is boring?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I take them back.
WALTERS:Are you afraid of making mistakes?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:Yes, I am afraid of making mistakes.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:[LAUGHS] Everyone says to me, But why do you look so shy and so quiet? I say, I'm not gonna dance! You know? [LAUGHS]
BRUNI-SARKOZY:I'm not gonna sing and dance in front of -- [LAUGHS] you know, coming down from a plane. I mean, of course, I'm afraid and shy. You know, I'm observing things and try to hold my place. I must represent France, and I want to be elegant, and I want the French people to be proud of me.
WALTERS:Do you have any regrets?
BRUNI-SARKOZY:No, I have no regrets. I made a lot of mistakes, but every time I made a mistake, I learned something from it.
BRUNI-SARKOZY:So I have no regrets. I don't feel ashamed about my life and what I've done.