Journalist stands by story of Sarkozy 'text message'
The editor of a magazine that alleged French President Nicolas Sarkozy text-messaged his ex-wife offering to call off his wedding if she came back stood by the story Saturday.
PARIS, February 11, 2008 - The editor of a magazine that alleged French
President Nicolas Sarkozy text-messaged his ex-wife offering to call off his
wedding to Carla Bruni if she came back stood by the story Saturday.
"I have my sources, I confirm" the report published Wednesday on the
website of the left-leaning weekly Nouvel Observateur, which prompted Sarkozy
to call in the police, editor Airy Routier said in an interview broadcast on
the Canal Plus network.
In a posting Wednesday headlined "the obsession with Cecilia" the
nouvelobs.com website said Sarkozy had messaged his ex-wife Cecilia
Ciganer-Albeniz eight days before he married Bruni on February 2.
"If you come back, I'll call it all off," he was reported to have told the
woman he had divorced less than four months before.
Prosecutors said Thursday the case had been referred to the judicial police
in the French capital, six days after Sarkozy tied the knot with the
Italian-born former supermodel turned singer-songwriter.
The French president filed suit against the website for "falsification, use
of false documents and possession of stolen goods," his lawyer Thierry Herzog
But Routier said Saturday, "I have not committed any falsification or used
false documents and it has to be proved that I did."
He added that the report "is rock solid, and besides I know that Sarkozy
has not stopped sending text messages to Cecilia."
But he said he would say nothing that would reveal his source or sources.
Router said he did not think that he had "crossed the line" of infringing
on Sarkozy's privacy, as "the president, who mixes his public and private
life, confuses the issue."
Sarkozy, 53, remarried less than four months after ending his stormy
11-year marriage to Cecilia, 50, with whom he has a young son, Louis. The
couple announced their divorce on October 18.
"To my knowledge, it is the first time that a serving president has lodged
a complaint against a media outlet," Herzog said on Thursday, "but it is also
the first time that a serving president has been treated so badly."
Routier said, "I think that I am being made an instrument in a strategy
that is much more widespread, which concerns all journalists at the moment, of
resuming control and enforcement against the profession."
Under French law, the maximum penalty in such a case is three years in
prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (65,250 dollars). The courts could also
order that the source of the story, which was still visible on the website
Saturday, be revealed.
Sarkozy's much-publicised romance with model-turned-singer Bruni
highlighted by shows of conspicuous wealth has been blamed for plunging poll
ratings as ordinary French people see their buying power weakening.