Sarkozy's ex-wife loses court bid to block book

14th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Cecilia lost a court bid to block the release of a book in which she is quoted as describing the French president as a womaniser

   PARIS, January 14, 2008 - Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia on Friday
lost a court bid to block the release of a book in which she is quoted as
describing the French president as a womaniser and uncaring father.
   The Paris civil court rejected the request from Cecilia for an injunction
to prevent "Cecilia" by former friend and journalist Anna Bitton from hitting
the bookstores.
   Cecilia's lawyer Michele Cahen immediately announced that the ex-first lady
would appeal the decision before a higher court, which could hear the case
later on Friday.
   It is one of three books on Cecilia set for release this week, once again
putting the spotlight on Sarkozy's personal life at a time when the
president's approval rating has slumped.
   At a court hearing on Thursday, lawyers for Cecilia had argued that the
book -- excerpts of which have been published at length in French magazines
and newspapers -- "seriously violated her right to privacy."
   In the book, Cecilia is quoted as describing Sarkozy as a "womaniser" and
"stingy", "a man who loves no one, not even his children."
   The former first lady, whose divorce from Sarkozy was announced in October,
attacks the president's entourage as a "gang of young guys, drunk on power who
take themselves for the princes of Paris", according to the excerpts.
   She is also reported as saying he had a "real behavioural problem" and his
conduct was often unbecoming of a French head of state in the book that also
touches on her affair with American events organizer Richard Attias, for whom
she left Sarkozy briefly in 2005.
   The book also reveals that Cecilia had political ambitions of her own and
was hoping to run for municipal office in the chic Paris suburb of Neuilly in
2008, before Sarkozy vetoed that plan.
   The wave of books on Cecilia were scheduled for release just days after
Sarkozy all but confirmed his engagement to Italian ex-supermodel and pop
singer Carla Bruni.
   Lawyers for Cecilia had demanded a full injunction on the book's release
and fines of 200,000 euros (294,000 dollars) per copy that becomes public.
Cecilia was not present at the hearing on Thursday.
   In October, Sarkozy became the first French president to divorce while in
office when he ended his stormy 11-year marriage to Cecilia, with whom he has
a 10-year-old son, Louis.
   He also has two sons, Pierre, 22, and Jean, 21, from a previous marriage to
Marie-Dominique Culioli.
   The 52-year-old president told a news conference on Tuesday that his new
romance with Bruni was "serious" and suggested the couple would soon marry.

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