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Far-right French politician's lawsuit blames plane selfie for election loss

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 13, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Mettez les KO demain en allant tous voter. Pour préserver notre France fraternelle !!! #jadoreça

Posted by Brahim Zaibat on Saturday, December 12, 2015

PARIS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The founder of France's far-right National Front is suing a dancer for an unflattering airplane selfie he blames for the party's poor election results.

Brahim Zaibat, a dancer and ex-boyfriend of singer Madonna, snapped a selfie when he spotted Jean-Marie Le Pen snoozing in a seat ahead of him on an airplane and he posted the photo to Facebook and Twitter the day before the December election.

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"Let's all vote tomorrow to give them a knock-out blow. To preserve our fraternal France," Zaibat wrote in the photo's caption.

Le Pen, who was recently ousted as honorary president of the National Front by his daughter, Marine, is suing Zaibat, alleging the picture post was to blame for the party failing to win any of France's 12 regions, when earlier projections indicated the party could win up to four, French magazine Public reported.

"Do you find it normal to be photographed while asleep on a plane? The court will decide. It's my private life and I want to protect myself against this type of behavior," Le Pen told the rue89 website.

"I learned of this photo because it had been multiplied by 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 on the Internet. That's where the problem lies. If Monsieur had preciously kept the image all to himself, it would have been a different matter," he said.

Le Pen's lawsuit is also seeking a public apology and an additional $10,800 for each day that Zaibat fails to issue the apology.

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