New Chanel biography sparks battle

A new Chanel biography which purports to reveal new evidence about the designer's links with Nazi soldiers has been fiercely criticised by representatives at the fashion house. The book, 'Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War', by Hal Vaughan has been dismissed as rumour-mongering.

A spokeswoman for Chanel told Vogue, 'Such insinuations cannot go unchallenged. She would hardly have formed a relationship with the family of the owners or counted Jewish people among her close friends and professional partners such as the Rothschild family, the photographer Irving Penn or the well-known French writer Joseph Kessel had these really been her views. It is unlikely.'

She continued, 'We also know that she and Churchill were close friends for a long time. She apparently approached him about acting as an intermediary between the Allies and the Germans for a peace settlement known as Operation Modelhut. No one knows for sure exactly what happened or what her role was to be. We know for a fact that she had a relationship during the war with a German aristocrat she had met in Paris in the Thirties, the timing of this romance with a German was unfortunate even if Baron Von Dincklage's mother was English and their relationship started before the war.'There are several different versions and it will no doubt always remain a mystery. More than 57 books have been written about Gabrielle Chanel. To decide for yourself, we would encourage you to consult some of the more serious ones.'

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