France

France taken in by hoax Mélenchon pop video

Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

A pop video featuring a blonde Swedish woman imploring firebrand leftist French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon to "take power over me", which went viral on the internet, is a media hoax.  

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"You are a musician who plays music on me," sings 24-year-old ‘Victoire Passage’ in the video that has been seen over 500,000 times on YouTube and sparked a quest to find out her identity.

A press release said Passage "fell in love" with Mélenchon after watching a television reportage about the Communist-backed candidate when he called to "retake the Bastille" at a rally in March.

On Friday, the conservative and widely-read Le Figaro newspaper published a story revealing the singer's identity as Rebecca Carlborn, a Swedish singer who "wants to be like Paris Hilton."

But public relations company Passage Pietons told the French news agency that the video was in fact just to celebrate the company's seventh birthday.

"The campaign was sad, boring, we wanted to bring in something fresh," said Frederic Lambert, one of Passage Pietons' two bosses.

The video shows the singer dancing or taking a bath with men wearing a mask of Mélenchon's likeness, or just relaxing in romantic poses along picturesque sections of Paris's Seine river.

"What's surprising is that a serious newspaper like Le Figaro, which said it did an investigation, wrote a lot of inaccuracies. The journalist called and said 'I know who you are'," said Lambert.

The woman who answered the phone and gave the interview had written the song's lyrics and so pretended to be the Swedish model-singer in an unusually evasive interview, he added.

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