Sarkozy squashes publication of biography

18th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 18 (AFP) - France's ambitious interior minister and would-be president, Nicolas Sarkozy, stepped in to halt publication of a biography on his estranged wife at her request, French media reported Friday.

PARIS, Nov 18 (AFP) - France's ambitious interior minister and would-be president, Nicolas Sarkozy, stepped in to halt publication of a biography on his estranged wife at her request, French media reported Friday.

"When I found out the book was about to come out, I called Nicolas for help," Cécilia Sarkozy told the newspaper Le Parisien.

It and other newspapers reported that, after Sarkozy met the head of the publishing firm First behind the book on November 9, the executive announced that the biography's launch, originally set for next Thursday, was being indefinitely delayed.

Cécilia Sarkozy said she had "no idea" what her husband did. "I just told him what it was about and he told me he would take care of it. That's all I know."

The journalist who wrote the book, Valerie Domain, told Le Parisien she did not understand the problem, claiming she had mobile telephone text messages and recorded conversations with Cécilia Sarkozy showing her collaboration in the biography.

"We spoke a lot on the telephone between Paris and the United States, where she now spends part of her life," Domain said, speculating that chapters dealing with the Sarkozys' relationship and split might have panicked Cécilia.

Nicolas Sarkozy, a popular French politician with an ambition to succeed Jacques Chirac as president in 2007 elections, had courted the media spotlight before his wife left him for a French advertising executive this year.

But last month, he suddenly decided to change direction, invoking France's tough invasion-of-privacy laws to keep his private life from the media.

The Libération newspaper quoted an unidentified executive at the First publishing firm as saying the decision on the biography was because of fears of getting "a presidential candidate off-side, especially an interior minister."

He added: "Seeing as Cecilia stepped away from the book, it was no longer possible to publish it against the wishes of the two people involved."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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