French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand's memoir La Mauvaise Vie (The Bad Life) has been out for years—but Mitterrand's recent advocacy for Roman Polanski's freedom has suddenly thrown admissions about sexual tourism with underage boys back into play. The 62-year-old Sarkozy appointee wrote rapturously in 2005 about sexual tourism in Bangkok: "I got into the habit of paying for boys...The profusion of young, very attractive and immediately available boys put me in a state of desire that I no longer needed to restrain or hide." France's far-right National Front party is circulating a petition demanding Mitterrand's resignation, and the Socialist Party—a major left-wing player—has joined the attack. The openly gay and formerly apolitical nephew of France's former President Francois Mitterrand, Frédéric's appointment is thought to be a sign of Carla Bruni's influence over President Sarkozy—and of France's powerful tradition for keeping leaders' private and public lives separate.
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