French press headlines Sarkozy 'separation'
18 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - French newspapers on Thursday ran front-page stories reporting that President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia have initiated divorce proceedings.
18 October 2007
PARIS (AFP) - French newspapers on Thursday ran front-page stories reporting that President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia have initiated divorce proceedings.
The left-wing Liberation, which has so far refused to comment on what it called rumours, said it had information that Cecilia appeared on Monday before a judge to request a divorce by consent.
Its headline, beneath a full-page picture of the couple, was "Desperate Housewife."
Le Parisien newspaper also bore a front-page picture of the Sarkozys beneath the headline, "A page turns".
On Monday two news organisations reported on their Internet sites that divorce proceedings were opened on Monday morning, when Cecilia saw a family court judge in the suburb of Nanterre.
According to the reports, the judge later visited Sarkozy in the Elysee palace and formalised separation proceedings before both parties.
Sarkozy's spokesman has refused to comment on what he terms "press rumours".
In an editorial, Liberation newspaper said: "Things have changed .... Since yesterday we have begun moving from rumours to facts."
Le Figaro newspaper carried an inside story headlined "Whirlwind of rumours over the Sarkozys".
It quoted an "old friend" of Nicolas Sarkozy saying: "No official announcement is planned. He (Sarkozy) has already been through this a year and a half ago, I remember he had in his hands a statement announcing his divorce. But he never had the heart to make it public."
The Sarkozys have had a famously up-and-down marriage, and spilt for several months in 2005 when Cecilia ran off with an advertising executive.
Some constitutional experts said there could be difficulties obtaining a divorce because the president's position as guarantor of the law means he cannot appear before a judge. However others said that a divorce by mutual consent should not pose problems.
Cecilia Sarkozy, a 49 year-old former model, has barely been seen at the president's side since he took office in May. On Monday it was announced that she will not accompany him on a state visit to Morocco next week.
The pair married in 1996 and have a 10 year-old son, Louis, as well as two grown-up children each from previous marriages.
Before the May election Cecilia Sarkozy made clear she did not see herself as a conventional first lady, telling an interviewer that the idea "bores me".
Subject: French news