French ex-minister Dati condems Sarkozy's entourage
France's ex-justice minister Rachida Dati has accused President Nicolas Sarkozy's entourage of conducting a campaign to "destroy" her, in an interview published in Spain Friday.
"I make the distinction between the president and his entourage. I don't know what pushed his entourage to want to destroy me, because there has been a real destruction operation, but it has failed," she told the newspaper El Pais.
"I came from nothing and I got to a high position very fast... That can upset some people, but I don't care," she said.
Dati has been forced to deny reports she was the source of "absurd and unacceptable rumours" about the state of Sarkozy's marriage to former supermodel Carla Bruni that surfaced earlier this year.
The 44-year-old Dati became the first French Arab woman to hold a powerful post in government when she was named justice minister in 2007 after Sarkozy's election.
But she fell out of favour with the president last year and now serves as a member of the European parliament.
© 2010 AFP