Sarkozy's wife assails journalist over text message report
France's new first lady Carla Bruni accused a journalist of dishonesty for reporting that President Nicolas Sarkozy had sent his ex-wife a text message
PARIS, March 20, 2008 - France's new first lady Carla Bruni on
Wednesday accused a journalist of dishonesty for reporting that President
Nicolas Sarkozy had sent his ex-wife a text message asking her to come back.
In a statement to Le Monde, Bruni also said that Sarkozy had decided to
drop a lawsuit against the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, which ran the report,
after the journalist apologised to her.
Sarkozy last month lodged the complaint against the weekly for reporting he
had sent a text message to ex-wife Cecilia eight days before his marriage to
Bruni that said: "If you come back, I'll call it all off."
"What is dishonest and worrisome in this whole episode is that at no point
was this 'information' checked, corroborated or confirmed," said Bruni in a
statement called "Stop the slander."
Journalist Airy Routier separately confirmed he had written to Carla
Bruni-Sarkozy to apologise for any unpleasantness she may have suffered, but
he added that he stood by his story.
"It was a personal letter in which I never called into question the
authenticity of the SMS. I am totally firm on that point," said Routier.
During questioning by police earlier this month, Cecilia had denied
receiving such a text message.
The president had filed suit February 7 against the weekly's website for
falsification and other charges in the case, a first by a sitting president in
Sarkozy remarried on February 2, less than four months after ending his
stormy 11-year marriage to Cecilia, with whom he has a young son, Louis. The
couple announced their divorce on October 18.
"My husband is not attacking the freedom of the press," wrote Bruni, a
former supermodel turned singer. "Far from being a despot, he is protecting
Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz is to marry events organiser Richard Attias in New
York on Saturday. She had briefly left Sarkozy in 2005 for Attias.