A tramp who lives in the street near Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's luxury town house says she regularly hands him over 50 and 100 euro notes and even offered to put him up in a hotel.
The wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy had even offered to put Denis up in a hotel, he told Closer magazine. He said the two had struck up conversation as the Italian-born model and singer, 41, passed Denis on the daily school run with her son.
"She asks after me, she gives me one or two 50- or 100-euro notes," Denis, 53, was quoted as saying by the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
He added that the two discussed books or music, and the first lady had even given him a signed copy of her latest album. But Denis turned down Ms Bruni's offer to put him up in a hotel room for a month.
"It's not that I enjoy being in the street but I've got my habits," he was quoted as saying. "People say it's cold. That's true but I'm well covered-up. "What's more, Carla gave me a military-type duvet, which keeps me warm."
Denis was interviewed by Closer after Ms Bruni mentioned their conversations in an interview with Macadam, a magazine sold by the homeless.
Ms Bruni married twice-divorced French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 after a whirlwind romance, BBC News reports.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969