Sarkozy sues weekly's website for "fake" SMS to ex-wife

Other News Materials 8 February 2008 14:40 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has filed a criminal complaint against the website of the left-wing weekly Le Nouvel Observateur for publishing an SMS message he supposedly sent to his ex-wife a few days before his marriage to Carla Bruni, French media reported Friday.

The message to his former wife, Cecilia, read: "If you come back, I'll cancel everything," a supposed allusion to his wedding with the former supermodel, which took place on February 2. Sarkozy's divorce from Cecilia was announced in October.

According to Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, "The message is fake, an alteration of reality." Therefore the president is charging the website with forgery, use of a forged document and possession of a forged document, offences liable to a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (65,250 dollars).

According to the daily Le Figaro, this marks the first time a French head of state has filed criminal charges against a news organ.

Earlier this month, a Paris court ruled in favour of a lawsuit brought by Sarkozy and Bruni against low-cost carrier Ryanair for using a photograph of the couple without their consent in a newspaper ad.