Quel scandale! François Fillon is under fire for gifts purchased from the chic boutique Arnys.
It’s a tailor-made crisis.
François Fillon’s already embattled campaign for the French presidency took a further hit over the weekend, when French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported that he had received almost $52,000 in clothing gifts since 2012.
The clothing came from Arnys, a chic custom menswear boutique owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy that a number of politicians frequent. Most of the clothing was paid for in cash by an unidentified young woman, the publication reports.
In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Fillon, the typically combative former Prime Minister confirmed at least part of the allegation when he admitted that that a friend paid almost $14,000 for two suits he had made in February. “A friend offered them to me in February, so what?” the center-right politician told the financial publication. “I’ve noticed that my private life has been the object of investigations and that treatment has been reserved for just me.”
That generous friend however, doesn’t seem to be happy, instead complaining to Le Journal du Dimanche that Fillon hadn’t reciprocated the gesture. “I’ve not received the slightest thanks since,” the unidentified benefactor huffed.
This is hardly the first time a politician has gotten into trouble for either spending too much money on clothing, or allegedly inappropriately receiving outfits as gifts. 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was criticized for spending $150,000 on clothing and accessories on the campaign trail. Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell received $15,000 worth of clothing (McDonnell and her husband were found guilty of corruption for receiving gifts like this one, but the judgement was later vacated by the Supreme Court.) And of course, former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos famously accumulated a collection of over 2,700 pairs of shoes, some of which are now on display at a shoe museum in Manila.
The scandal is another setback for the embattled Fillon, who had been the favorite to become President until he was placed under investigation for paying his wife from public funds for a job she allegedly didn’t do.
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