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Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Speaks Out

Jun 12, 2008
It's just what France (and the world) has been waiting for - the real story behind the marriage of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his third wife Carla.

And that's exactly what it's going to get on Thursday - apparently - with the release of a new book "La Véritable Histoire de Carla et Nicolas".

On the whole since their marriage, Bruni-Sarkozy has remained pretty tight-lipped, gorgeously appearing at her husband's side on state occasions and uttering the occasional "Hmmmn" and "Delicious." Indeed the only interview she has granted so far was to the weekly news magazine "L'Express" shortly after their marriage in February.

But now she is "telling the story as it really is" in a book written by two journalists, Valérie Bénaïm and Yves Azérouai. And it promises to make fascinating reading as it reportedly contains approved material from the first lady herself in which she sets straight some of the rumours that have been circulating ever since the couple met, fell in love and tied the knot.

The first tantalising snippets have already appeared in the French press, from which we learn that the two did in fact meet at a dinner organised by the publicist Jacques Séguela in November last year, and Carla quickly realised that they had both in fact been set up on a blind date of sorts.

"There were three couples and us - two single people," she says. "I had never expected someone so funny, so lively. I was seduced by his physique, his charm and his intelligence."

So that's one rumour that has been doing the rounds well and truly confirmed - by Carla herself. That'll doubtless come as a blesséd relief to all the gossip columnists and Sarkozy-watchers who would seem to have been (accurately) reporting very much the same thing right from the start.

Another rumour though, that Bruni-Sarkozy enjoys less than a warm relationship with the justice minister, Rachida Dati, is one she unsurprisingly sets out to scotch.

Before Bruni-Sarkozy appeared on the scene it was often the justice minister who appeared at the side of the president at official functions after the break up of his marriage to his second wife, Cecilia.

But the current first lady denies that there is any rivalry between her and Dati in spite of what the media might maintain.

"I see her quite often and she makes me laugh a lot," says Bruni-Sarkozy.

"These rumours must have their source in the fact that she is a close friend of the president's former wife. But there really is no hostility between us."

As to her future and role as first lady, Bruni-Sarkozy reveals that she has set herself the goals of campaigning against poverty and ignorance, but she's not going to give up her music career.

"I have a role to fulfil but it isn't my metier," she insists.

"I am not just a folk singer. I tell stories which are the same as everybody else's. There's nothing subversive in that."

The excerpts that have so far appeared in the press would seem to suggest that the book gives a certain "spin" on events. Whether anyone really thinks that an expectant public will completely believe everything that's written is perhaps a little hard to imagine.

Doubtless though these gems and others will make the book a bestseller. The Carla-Nicolas story is after all is one everybody loves to pretend they're not really interested in.

That has been proven on countless occasions over the last six months. Whenever a picture of either or both has been slapped on the cover of a magazine, a boost in sales has been guaranteed. And Sarkozy has also been a profitable subject for many a publisher with more than 70 books written about him in the past year.

Only a cynic would dispute the need for yet another one, especially one in which the principle figure and source is the first lady herself.

So go on, rush out and buy your copy tomorrow, while stocks last. And don't forget Bruni-Sarkozy's album is released next month - July 21 to be precise.
About the Author
Johnny Summerton is a Paris-based broadcaster, writer and journalist specializing in politics, sport and travel. For more on what's making the headlines here in France, log on to his site at http://www.persiflagefrance.com
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