Connect to share and comment

Have Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni strayed?

French journalists gab about who the French president and his wife might be sleeping with, but why don't they cover it?

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy listen to hospital staff as they visit the Paoli-Calmettes Institute in Marseille, Nov. 2, 2009. (Jean-Paul Pelissier/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS, France — From the day of their first public date — at Disneyland Paris of all places — their lives have always seemed torn from the pages of a fairy tale.

That was back in December 2007 when the confident new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, courted the Italian-born model and French pop singer, Carla Bruni, as they wandered the pathways with Disney's fabled characters. Soon after, they wed and became an extraordinary media sensation.

But now it seems there might be some trouble in the magic kingdom. And if the latest rumors buzzing around the French blogosphere about them both having extramarital affairs are true, this glitzy political saga could be coming to an end. (Repercussions of the Sarkozy/Bruni affair rumors.)

Suchablog.com has published posts saying that Carla Bruni fell in love with the French singer Benjamin Biolay, who just won the award for best male singer and best album of the year at the prestigious “Victoires de la musique.”

Bruni and Biolay have reportedly been friends for many years. And according to suchablog.com, Bruni and Biolay already live together. The same blog, which brands itself as a web magazine, also says that president Sarkozy has found “comfort in the arms” of right-wing politician Chantal Jouanno — a 40-year-old cabinet member in charge of the environment as well as a karate champion.

But the French establishment media is legendarily indifferent when it comes to covering the private affairs of their elected leaders. So there has been no questioning of the president about all this. The way the possible scandal has slowly emerged in France stands in stark contrast to how it would be covered in the tabloid culture of the American media, according to observers here.

More on public figures under scrutiny:

Can Elin go home again?

Top sex scandals of 2009

Zuma's love child scandalizes South Africa

    This hyperactive, American-friendly president and this French-Italian former model and singer have always been flamboyant and always prompted all kinds of speculations and rumors, including that Sarkozy was begging his former wife Cecilia to get back together, to rumors of a Sarkozy-Bruni baby. But now the rumor mill is working overtime in France, and a lot of it is ending up online.

Other websites to chronicle the rumor include the well-known blog Le Post, Yahoo News France and Agoravoxtv.

UPDATE: While a blog of the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche had chronicled the rumors about the Sarkozy and Bruni affairs, the post has now been removed "by the editors" because the material was "seriously detrimental to privacy." See below for more on French privacy law.

For now mainstream media haven’t published the rumors, which bloggers said are more likely to become public after the March 21 regional elections in France.

On television, only the news channel i-tele has suggested that Sarkozy and Jouanno, and Bruni and Biolay, are close. An i-tele presenter said on the air that Bruni was the first to congratulate Biolay for his awards, and wondered whether Sarkozy had had the time to congratulate minister Jouanno on her recent karate win.

For its part, Sarkozy’s public relations office had no comment on the rumors in response to a request from GlobalPost.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/france/100308/sarkozy-bruni-rumors-affairs