Brigitte Bardot will sue anyone who is ''exploiting her image''.

The film star is reportedly furious that an artist has been selling memorabilia from a shop in St. Tropez and painting pictures of her from her days as a sex-symbol.

The French actress's husband, Bernard d'Ormale, insisted that the couple will take legal action against the unauthorised products.

He said: ''Exploitation has its limits! We're used to seeing depictions of BB (Brigitte Bardot) everywhere but this is too much.

''In the shop there are candles, watches, espadrilles, plates, loads of things. Soon they'll be making cars with the name BB.''

Speaking to the local newspaper 'Nice Matin', he went on to directly address the painter - who goes by the name Sasha - saying: ''You are selling products representing BB without authorisation. Brigitte is not happy. The only right she possesses is the right to her image. Next week, we'll be sending in the bailiffs.''

However, the artist defended himself by insisting that the 80-year-old actress is not the only famous person he has depicted in his art.

He said: ''I've been doing paintings with Brigitte in them for 15 years, with my own style and in my own way. These are my own works. I wouldn't use official photos for example. I do the same thing with other stars, like [Sir] Mick Jagger, Steve McQueen, Prince or Picasso.''

Sasha has offered to make a donation to the screen icon's animal welfare foundation for every item of merchandise sold, but her husband has rejected the offer.

He said: ''We want nothing to do with this business. Brigitte only asks for respect.''