No, Seriously

YouPorn’s French Publicity Stunt

Is $500,000 enough to get the ex-First Lady of France to represent a porn company?

Pool photo by Lionel Bonaventure

Valerie Trierweiler is having a bit of a rough year.

The former First Lady of France ended her relationship with President Francois Hollande in January after allegations surfaced that he was having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet. And in the midst of this publicly broadcast break-up, Trierweiler was offered the obvious conciliatory option of representing a porn company.

YouPorn, an internationally-visited and highly trafficked free pornography site proposed paying Trierweiler $500,000 to be the site’s “French Ambassador and Spokesperson,” according to a letter penned by the site’s vice president Brad Burns. The request, which Burns assures was drafted in complete sincerity (but is, obviously, a publicity stunt), acknowledges Trierweiler’s recent personal speed bumps and suggests that this new occupation—whatever it may be—could help assuage the bitter feelings of a break-up.

“Given your recent unfortunate personal circumstances, we envision a possibility whereby you may be visiting some of our website properties in the near future,” the letter reads. “Couple that with your past experiences as a journalist, we think you would be a perfect candidate to act as our French ambassador, a post where you would be responsible for generating content around European pornography habits and act as a spokesperson.”

According to Burns, there has been no official response from Trierweiler or the office of the President at this point.

“It was a wholeheartedly serious offer—we wouldn’t go out of our way to exploit someone’s personal situation for our own gain,” Burns said in an email exchange with The Daily Beast.

Yet Burns acknowledged that he hoped the letter’s distribution to the media would garner Trierweiler’s attention and that the site has already seen a boost in traffic.

“I can tell you we’ve seen a drastic increase in people searching for videos of Trierweiler on the site,” Burns said.

This is not the first time the site has been willing to dole out big bucks to nab public figures. Former Miss Teen Delaware, who resigned her title after reports surfaced that she appeared in a pornographic video, was offered an alleged $250,000 to be YouPorn’s spokeswoman. Even convicted murderers have been sought to enter the porn industry.

Burns described Trierweiler’s proposed role as a spokesperson position, involving work which would be similar to her previous journalistic experience. “Valerie was a journalist before she abandoned her career to be by the president’s side, and being that the post will involve quite a bit of writing, we thought she would be a perfect,” Burns said.

Despite the outlandish absurdity of this proposal, Burns thinks French citizens (who apparently watch a lot of YouPorn) would be thrilled to see Trierweiler accept the offer, especially given the lukewarm reception Hollande has received as president.

“Reactions have been mostly positive, especially from users in France who would love to see Valerie take the offer,” Burns said. “After all, there’s nothing the general public loves more than to see an underdog make a comeback.”

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That’s assuming that being an ambassador for a massive adult video website constitutes a comeback from relationship problems. Or that being financially provoked to accept a demeaning offer is some form of personal triumph.

It’s an ill-conceived, troublesome and ill-advised strategy imbued with sleazy attempts at overt sexualization (particularly the notion that Trierweiler must be visiting YouPorn now that she’s single). But then again, porn sites aren’t always the bastions of morality and respect.