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Coco Chanel: Fashion house says Coco not a Nazi

August 19, 2011 |  9:14 am

Coco Chanel

Chanel has come to the defense of founder Coco Chanel, who is accused in a new book of being a Nazi spy.

"She would hardly have ... 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," a Chanel spokesman told British Vogue in reaction to "Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War," by Hal Vaughan.

"We also know that she and [Winston] 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...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." 

And indeed there have been numerous books, films and television dramas about the creative, convention-defying woman who remains fascinating 40 years after her death. 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Coco Chanel, pictured in the 1920s. Credit: Roger-Viollet / TopFoto

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