French President Married Ex-Model Last Week, Newspaper Says
( The Washington Post ) - The French newspaper that brought you the presidential divorce first, followed by the first interview with the former first lady, now reports this:
An unnamed "source close to a witness who attended the ceremony" says that President Nicolas Sarkozy and his supermodel-turned-singer girlfriend, Carla Bruni, tied the knot in a "small, very private" wedding at the Elysee Palace on Thursday.
In response to this latest bulletin from the regional newspaper L'Est Republicain, featured on its Web site Monday, the Elysee Palace denied nothing.
After all, Sarkozy told reporters just last week, "There's a strong chance that you will learn about it after it's already done." "It" being the wedding: the third for Sarkozy, the second for Bruni.
Franck Louvrier, Sarkozy's communications chief, told The Washington Post he had "no comment" on the report that Sarkozy lived up to his word.
Sarkozy, 52, began dating Italian-born Bruni, 40, in November - a month after he divorced his second wife, Cecilia. At a news conference last week, the president declared the new relationship "serious."
Although French law requires most couples to officially publish wedding banns, or announcements of impending nuptials, it allows exceptions for public figures, such as Sarkozy, and celebrities, such as Bruni, whose folksy pop songs are now playing in cafes and bars across Paris.
The most intimate details of Sarkozy's private life have made headlines in French newspapers and tabloids in the past week. Sarkozy's own public account of his new love interest was quickly followed by the release of three new books about his 11-year marriage to Cecilia.
In the most sensational one, the former first lady, who now uses the name Cecilia Ciganer, is quoted as describing her ex-husband as a "womanizer," "stingy" and "a man who loves no one, not even his children."
Sarkozy has a 10-year-old son from his marriage to Ciganer and two adult sons from his first marriage.
In the book, Ciganer is also quoted as saying that after the couple's divorce in October, the president went on a dating binge and often stayed out at nightclubs singing karaoke until 4 a.m. "Nicolas does not look like a president of the republic," the book quotes her as saying. "He has a real behavioral problem."
Ciganer's attorneys unsuccessfully attempted to persuade a judge to bar distribution of "Cecilia," by journalist Anna Bitton, saying it "seriously violated her right to privacy." They said that their client's conversations were conducted in confidence with Bitton, whom Ciganer once considered a close friend. The lawyers did not say the remarks as quoted were inaccurate.
The judge ruled that a "ban, even a temporary one, would be a disproportionate measure, especially since the book was already on sale and that many weekly magazines had published several excerpts of the book in question, without being targeted for suits."Sarkozy met Bruni at a private "singing evening" hosted by public relations executive Jacques Seguela on Nov. 14, according to the French news media.
Bruni, who was a supermodel with a multimillion-dollar annual salary in the 1980s, has been linked romantically to a string of celebrities, including Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump.
The French president introduced Bruni to the public in mid-December during a much-photographed outing to Disneyland Paris. The couple then spent Christmas in Egypt touring the pyramids and cruising the Nile River, and made another highly publicized visit to the Petra archaeological site in Jordan.
Opposition politicians and many French have criticized Sarkozy for making such a public show of private concerns. Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande labeled Sarkozy the "look-at-me president" for allowing too much exposure of his personal life.