Le Pen to sue Madonna for linking her image to swastika at Paris show


FRANCE’S FAR-RIGHT Front National is to sue Madonna for using images of its leader with a swastika on her forehead.

A spokesman for the front’s president Marine Le Pen, who came third in the May presidential elections, said a lawsuit for “public insult” would be lodged with the Paris courts in the next few days.

At a concert by Madonna in the French capital on Saturday evening, a video was shown in which Ms Le Pen’s face appeared with other well-known figures including Pope Benedict, Chinese leader Hu Jintao and US Republican Sarah Palin. In the clip, shown on a giant screen to accompany the song Nobody Knows Me, Ms Le Pen (43) appeared with the Nazi symbol overlaid on her face, just before an image resembling Adolf Hitler.

The image sent a ripple through the crowd at Le Stade de France, where Madonna was performing as part of her 80-date world tour.

Ms Le Pen, who has tried to clean up the front’s Nazi-sympathising image since taking over from her father Jean-Marie 18 months ago, had already warned that she would take Madonna to court if she aired the video in France. After the singer first used the image at a concert in Tel Aviv at the end of May, Ms Le Pen said: “If she tries that in France, we’ll see what happens,” adding: “It’s understandable when ageing singers who need publicity go to such extremes.”

Socialist government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in May the linking of Ms Le Pen with Hitler was regrettable.

On Sunday, front vice-president Florian Philippot described the images as a “provocation” and a “very serious insult”. He accused Madonna of “trying to get more people to her concerts”.

“We cannot accept everything. We cannot accept this insulting connection. Marine Le Pen is defending her honour, but also that of party members and supporters and the millions of Front National voters,” he said. – (Guardian service)