Court rejects attempt to block book critical of Sarkozy

( dpa )- A book in which the former wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls him a philanderer who is unworthy of being president went on sale Friday after a Paris court rejected her demand to stop its publication, France-Info radio reported.

In the book, entitled simply Cecilia, the former Madame Sarkozy is quoted by author Anna Bitton as saying, "Nicolas is a philanderer. Everyone tells me that ... there are girls he seduces whose first name he can't remember."

She also describes him as "a man who likes no-one, not even his children," and goes on to say that he is not worthy of being president.

"He is not dignified ... He does not make a real president of the Republic. He has a behavioural problem. Somebody must tell him."

Immediately after the decision, a lawyer for Cecilia Sarkozy said she would file an immediate appeal.

However, the website of the weekly Le Point reported late Friday that Cecilia Sarkozy did not file an appeal but would sue Bitton and the publisher of the book, Flammarion , for invasion of privacy.

Bitton , a journalist for Le Point, said she regretted her subject's reaction to the book.

"The book was based on a long relationship (with her) carried out over years during my work as a political journalist," she said.

In its judgment, the Paris court said that the book did not invade the privacy of Cecilia Sarkozy and her former husband, as she had claimed in her suit to suppress it.

After extracts from the book were published on the website of the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur earlier in the week, Cecilia Sarkozy denied having made the statements and charged her lawyers to block the book's publication.

This was not her first attempt to stop publication of a potentially embarrassing book.

In 2005, after she had left her husband for an advertising executive, Richard Attias , she and Sarkozy , then interior minister, reportedly put pressure on a publisher to suppress a biography in which Cecilia reportedly spoke openly about her marriage to Sarkozy and her affair.

She eventually returned to her husband, and was at his side during his successful presidential campaign. Their divorce was announced on October 18.

In simply Cecilia, the former first lady of France is quoted as saying that Attias was "the person I have loved the most in my life. In fact, I don't think I loved anyone before him."

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