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April 21 2014

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The French Put Their Foot Down On Hayek’s “Chevalier” Honor

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While her father-in-law, François Pinault, was awarded France’s highest civilian decoration on New Year’s Day, Mexican actress Salma Hayek was also recognized for her services to the French Republic, receiving the Legion of Honour Chevalier. While the Telegraph reports that “according to the government’s official journal, Hayek was chosen for her work as ‘director and producer (and) active member of charitable foundations for 23 years,’ ” top news commentators and former minister Henri Torre (who turned down a Legion of Honour) are not pleased with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pick of Hayek, who has been busy promoting her latest film, Puss in Boots. Many are speculating that Hayek’s husband François-Henri Pinault’s close friendship with Sarkozy might have something to do with it, although criticism over the award’s highly political selection process is not new (there was controversy over Sarkozy’s pick of the “magistrate who pronounced his divorce from his second wife,” and when Sarkozy’s former labor minister awarded the Legion of Honour “to a wealth manager who had hired his wife” just a few months earlier).

Photo: Jeffrey Ufberg /WireImage

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