Le Divorce

  1. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ghnwYMAsUe5v8btQ8dHCtjqmyLtgD8SBS9TO2

    France's Glamorous First Couple Divorces

    By ELAINE GANLEY – 4 hours ago

    PARIS (AP) — France's glamorous First Couple is no more.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy and his elegant but enigmatic wife, Cecilia, called it quits and abruptly announced their divorce Thursday after months of speculation about their marriage.

    The split — a first for France — spelled the end of a seemingly passionate but deeply political power couple who had challenged the traditional role of president and first lady.

    It struck a deep, personal blow to Sarkozy's 5-month-old presidency, though friends insisted it wouldn't dent his energetic leadership as he works to reshape France, make it more competitive and nurture its alliance with the United States.

    The 15-word statement from the presidential office said Cecilia, 49, and Nicolas, 52, mutually agreed to end their relationship of more than 20 years, 11 of them as a married couple. "They will have no comment," the statement concluded.

    Sarkozy flew to Lisbon, Portugal, for a European summit shortly afterward, leaving a nation strike-bound by workers angered by his planned pension reforms.

    The divorce, granted Monday, followed weeks of unconfirmed reports about an impending split, fed by frequent absences of the first lady — a title she shunned — at official occasions.

    Until the Sarkozys, French presidents' private lives remained largely off-limits to the media. Previous presidents' trysts were long kept secret. But Sarkozy courted the spotlight for years in his long run-up to the presidency, talking frequently about his relationship — and that has meant his marital troubles were front-page news.

    The couple bucked French conventions from the start.

    Both previously married, they endeared the nation at the May 16 presidential inauguration, showing up with their blended family of five children — two each from their previous marriages, as well as their own 10-year-old son, Louis.

    On his path to the presidency, Sarkozy made a habit of showing off his relationship with his dark-eyed wife, strutting with her at his side before photographers, making constant phone calls or sending text messages to her when out of town. He made her his top aide with an adjoining office when he served as interior minister and he relied, at least partially, on her judgment in appointing his Cabinet.

    However, it was common knowledge the couple had downs as well as ups. Cecilia Sarkozy had failed to vote in the second round of the presidential election in May.
    In 2005, Sarkozy evoked his marital difficulties on television after his wife was photographed with another man and the couple separated for several months. He, meanwhile, was photographed with a journalist for a major daily. "Like millions of families, mine has known difficulties. We are overcoming these difficulties," he said.
    The couple reunited in early 2006.

    "Nearly 20 years after our first encounter, pronouncing her name moves me," Sarkozy wrote in his 2006 book, "Testimony," recounting the couple's difficulties in a section simply entitled "C."

    "Today, Cecilia and I have found each other for good, for real, doubtless forever," he wrote.

    Their divorce was granted Monday "in the presence of the two," the couple's lawyer, Michele Cahen, told The Associated Press. She refused to say when the divorce was requested. Under a procedure instituted in 2005, a divorce in France can take 10 to 12 weeks.

    "It went very well. There was not the least difficulty," the lawyer said on Europe-1 radio.

    Friends insisted the divorce would have no repercussions on affairs of state.
    Sarkozy will be "profoundly affected" by the divorce, but "I sincerely think that this will have absolutely no impact on his mission as head of state," said Isabelle Balkany, a friend of the couple.

    She said Cecilia Sarkozy had trouble accepting the "terrible pressure" of the role of first lady.

    "She knew she would have a hard time supporting the conventional side, the weighty side of the institution itself and all that pomp."

    Cecilia has lately been seen driving her own car on a chic street of designer shops. But mostly she has been invisible.

    "I don't see myself as 'first lady.' It bores me," she told the magazine Tele Star in May 2005. "I'm not politically correct .... I don't fit the mold."

    She bowed out early from the presidential couple's first state event, a G-8 summit in Germany in June. She skipped a lunch offered by President Bush in August, when the Sarkozys were vacationing in New Hampshire. Sarkozy made excuses for her absences.

    Cecilia Sarkozy reportedly felt offended by the critical spotlight shed on her July mission to free five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor jailed in Libya. Sent by her husband, she negotiated directly with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Critics in France said diplomacy should not be her place, and a parliamentary hearing into the matter opened Wednesday.

    Some wondered whether the politically astute Sarkozy timed the divorce announcement to upstage the biggest challenge so far to his presidency, a day of massive transport strikes Thursday to protest his pension reforms.

    Government spokesman Laurent Wauquiez vigorously rebuffed that suggestion, calling it "disgraceful."


    Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife Cecilia walk during the garden party at the Elysee Palace, as part of Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, in this July 14, 2004 file photo. Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia, are separating by mutual consent after 11 years of marriage, his office said Thursday Oct. 18, 2007. The announcement ended weeks of speculation about troubles in their marriage. The statement said the two would not comment on the separation. (AP Photo/John Schults, Pool)
  2. Good article.

    That´s crazy I know....First time something like that happens to one of our presidents, apparently not since Napoleon..

    French are both upset that his personal life´big announcement stole the spotlight on the news, and worried on how he´s gonna deal with it and stay strong without Cecilia....She´s his big love.
  3. that sucks.. he should've have known better since it seems like their whole relaitonship started as a whirlwind romance, and they left their spouses for each other... Now he's president and she's not there for him

    relationships are so complicated!
  4. Well, at least they are not living a lie.....like some other past presidential couples we know.....
  5. This divorce is not a big revelation here...
    There was a lot of rumors since July...

    One of the hypothesis was Cecilia (who has left Nicolas in 2005 for another man), just came back in 2006 to help his husband to win the Election this year...Maybe the Nicolas Sarkozy staff (bases on opinions studies) thought a single couldn't win the elections...
    The good point is noone think this divorce is a big deal here : only a private affair.
  6. I've been following this... too bad, but if this is better for them then it makes sense.
  7. Cecilia has given a large interview to the french ELLE that will be published tomorrow...