De la part de Nolwenn, un article drole et affligeant sur la reconciliation du couple Sarko, vu par le Times.
THE aircraft taxis down the runway, the door opens and the glamorous passenger rushes down the stairs into the arms of her estranged husband, waiting on the tarmac. As they drive away, she affords one final look back at the lover who remains, heartbroken, on the aircraft.
It may sound corny, but this is no Casablanca or trashy novel. This was a real-life scene starring Cécilia Sarkozy, her husband, Nicolas, the French Interior Minister, and her jilted lover Richard Attias. And the story had the whole of France gripped.
News that Cécilia Sarkozy, 48, had returned to the ministerial residence after an eight-month affair would not normally have merited mention. However, the Sarkozy saga has taken France into new territory as the public has been apprised of the marital travails of the biggest political celebrity after President Chirac.
After months of begging with a broken heart, the Minister took his limousine to Charles de Gaulle airport on January 2. Before any other passengers were allowed to disembark, he greeted his errant wife and their son at the door of the airliner that had brought them from New York. M Attias, her lover, remained on board.
Mme Sarkozy’s return to the Place Beauveau was also a surprise for Anne Fulda, 47, chief political correspondent of Le Figaro, with whom M Sarkozy had embarked on une aventure after his wife’s departure. M Sarkozy and Mme Fulda had just returned from a Christmas break together at an Indian Ocean resort, VSD magazine said yesterday.
To recap from past episodes, Cécilia, as she is popularly known, is the part-Spanish, part-Russian wife and former chief adviser to the man who is the favourite to succeed M Chirac as President next year.
Last May, in the midst of the European Constitution referendum campaign, she walked out with M Attias, whom she had recruited for the rally that enthroned M Sarkozy as leader of the Union for a Popular Movement — M Chirac’s party — in late 2004. The media broke with the normal taboo on reporting private life on the ground that M Sarkozy had long paraded his wife and son as an electoral asset.
Sarko, as he is known, was humiliated when Paris Match splashed the lovers on its cover last summer as Mme Sarkozy began a move to New York, where M Attias is based. On television he appealed for privacy and sued a newspaper and news agency for reporting on Mme Fulda. Opinion was split on whether M Sarkozy would win sympathy as the wronged spouse or lose favour for the more traditional Gallic sin of failing to control one’s wife.
In the autumn, as M Sarkozy confronted the Paris riots, he found time to force a publisher to pulp a biography of his wife that had been written with her co-operation. Mme Sarkozy got cold feet after reading the manuscript and called in her husband, according to the author Valérie Domain, who accused the minister of bullying. Last week M Sarkozy signalled imminent news by waving his wedding ring in a television interview. He had removed the ring six months earlier.
Despite his demands for privacy, M Sarkozy could not resist exhibiting his wife’s return. The couple went shopping at the Ralph Lauren store near the ministry and on Tuesday, a television crew was on hand when M Sarkozy turned up to greet his wife after lunch at L’Esplanade, a favourite restaurant for journalists and the one M Attias chose to go public with Mme Sarkozy last spring.
Patrick Balkany, an MP and friend of Sarkozy, yesterday gave the authorised account, saying the couple had spent last weekend together in London. “Nicolas is living again. He needed her return. For months, not an hour passed without him telephoning or texting Cécilia, Nicolas has always been immensely in love with her. I know that he had an affair but it was obviously necessary to show that he was capable of living without her.”
Yesterday Le Parisien declared that l’affaire Cécilia marked a turning point. For the first time, “we have just followed in live action a marital crisis at the summit. This is une rupture.” La Rupture — a break with the past — is M Sarkozy’s slogan as he campaigns to become the centre-right presidential candidate.
M Sarkozy has made only one public comment since his wife’s return, saying he was glad to see the back of 2005, adding: “Life is the same for everyone when you are alone at night in an empty room.”