The furious Sunderland boss accused the Frenchman of showing a lack of respect by making no contact before or after Villa submitted their initial offer, shortly after Bent's official transfer request was handed in.
Bruce said: 'I would have liked a phone call from Mr Houllier, for whom I did have the utmost respect.
Read Ian Holloway's attack on Gerard Houllier: 'He's trying to steal my best player' Controversial: Gerard Houllier shows off new Aston Villa signing Darren Bent
Fall-out: Steve Bruce with Bent
'I would have thought that, out of respect, maybe he would have picked up the telephone to say, 'We are interested in buying your striker'. That at least would have given me anopportunity to try to do something about it.
'If you are telling me we gave them permission to speak to him at 8pm on Sunday and it is done and dusted and there's a press conference by Tuesday, it's an insult our intelligence.
'We know in football it happens but we are disappointed with somebody of his magnitude.'
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn had accused Villa of acting improperly in the pursuit of £24m star Bent, whohanded in his demand two hours after the draw with Newcastle.
The striker and his new club hit back, with Villa furiously claiming Sunderland were trying to 'besmirch'their reputation and that of the England centre forward.
Bruce added: 'It's left a sour taste.We can't understand the timing. If he'd come to me and said he was unhappy six weeks ago, it gives me time to grant his wish, but it happened so quickly.
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Explore more:People: Darren Bent, Steve Bruce, Gerard Houllier, Niall Quinn, Ian Holloway Places: Newcastle, United Kingdom