France’s Carla adores Sarkozy for his “six brains”

Wed Jun 4, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) – In a book to be published this week, France’s first lady speaks out about falling head over heels in love with President Nicolas Sarkozy, not only for his “physique,” but also for his “five or six brains.”

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has maintained a relatively low profile since her whirlwind romance with Sarkozy culminated in marriage in February, but she finally lifts the curtain on their relationship in “Carla and Nicolas, the real story.”

“It all happened suddenly. I wasn’t expecting someone so funny, so full of life. I was seduced by his physique, his charm and his intelligence,” she tells the book’s authors, according to extracts published in Le Point magazine on Wednesday.

“He has five or six brains which are remarkably irrigated,” the former supermodel said, adding that Sarkozy could process what others around him were saying while reading at the same time no matter how late it was.

The book tracks the events of the most talked about French love story in years, showing how the 39-year-old singer suspected she was being set up for a blind date after Sarkozy asked a friend to organize a dinner in November.

“In fact, I realized when I arrived that it was a blind date. A blind date not so blind,” she said. “There were three couples and us two, two single people.”

Sarkozy only had eyes for her during the dinner and escorted her home in the early hours of the morning. He returned to her house the next day for a candlelight dinner, the book says.

Turning to her life as first lady, Bruni-Sarkozy said she had no intention of ditching her singing career.

“I have no intention to change job. I have a function, but it is not a job,” she said, adding that she had inherited her function through marriage.

Besides working on her next album, which is due out on July 21, Carla said she would look to support her husband:

“I often worry about him. He works unbelievably hard. I try to help him take it easy.”

(Reporting by Tamora Vidaillet)


Bruni Says She Fell Hard for Sarkozy
February 12, 2008 – 5:43pm

Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) – France’s new first lady says she fell head over heels for President Nicolas Sarkozy and despite their whirlwind romance she expects the marriage to last a lifetime.

“I didn’t hesitate” after meeting him, Carla Bruni said in an interview with the newsweekly L’Express, excerpts of which were posted Tuesday on its Web site. “Right away, I wanted to marry him.”

The Italian-born model-turned-singer and Sarkozy exchanged vows Feb. 2 in a quiet ceremony in a drawing room at the presidential Elysee Palace, less than four months after they first met, reportedly in November.

It was the first marriage for the 40-year-old Bruni, who has a son from a previous relationship. It is the third for Sarkozy, 53, who has three children. He divorced his second wife, Cecilia, in October.

The discretion surrounding the wedding ceremony contrasted with the couple’s very public romance, which caught attention around the globe as paparazzi trailed them in France, Jordan and Egypt.

Doubts have been raised about the durability of the speedy marriage and whether Bruni, whose nearly nude photographs have been widely displayed in French media, can be an appropriate first lady in a country where demeanor counts.

She has a short answer for those who thought the marriage came too fast: “Wrong.”

“Between Nicolas and me, it wasn’t quick, it was immediate,” L’Express quoted her as saying.

Bruni has never made a secret of her relationships with the rich and famous, from Donald Trump to Mick Jagger. But she suggested Sarkozy is different from the others.

“It seems that with him, nothing bad can happen … ,” she said. “With him, an anxiousness that I’ve felt since childhood disappears.”

She said she was comforted by Sarkozy’s courage and called him protective and paternal. “I like being with him more than anything,” she said.

The president, elected in May, has found himself in the midst of a spectacular plunge in the polls. Pundits blame his fall in popularity, in part, on the way he and Bruni flaunted their love ties. The couple has kept a low profile since the marriage.

Despite her freewheeling image, Bruni said she would be a no-nonsense first lady. “I don’t yet know what I might do as first lady, but I know how I will do it: seriously.”

But she also indicated she is not about to betray herself.

“Just as Nicolas doesn’t resemble his predecessors, I would like, me too, while respecting the dignity of the post, to keep my personality,” she said.

Indeed, Bruni was preparing to record her third album when the interview was conducted in her Paris home. Her guitar was lying on the couch, L’Express said.

Bruni said she does not like the idea of divorce. “So I am the first lady until the end of my husband’s mandate and his wife until death.”

(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. )


Britain Swoons for French First Lady
March 27, 2008 – 2:10pm

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) – Nicolas Sarkozy did most of the talking, but it was his wife who made the headlines.

On his first state visit to Britain, the French president discussed matters of international importance, sealed a string of big bilateral deals and hailed a new era of Franco-British brotherhood.

So what did Britain’s media focus on Thursday? Pictures of model-turned-first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, alongside discussion of her chic Dior outfits, her effortless elegance _ and her sensible low-heeled shoes.

Even Britain’s notoriously Francophobe tabloid press was entranced. “Carla, first lady of chic,” proclaimed The Daily Mail. “Ooh la la, Madame Sarko,” said The Daily Express.

Just don’t suggest to Sarkozy that his wife outshone him.

A French journalist who asked Sarkozy on Thursday if he felt upstaged was immediately rebuked. The president suggested tartly that the reporter had a “curious idea of a couple.”

Bruni-Sarkozy, an Italian-born pop singer and former model who married the French president in February, caused a mighty splash in Britain, a country where politicians and their spouses are more stolid than stylish.

When the couple arrived Wednesday, many newspapers were running a photograph of a nude Bruni-Sarkozy, taken during her modeling career in 1993 and due to be sold by Christie’s auction house in New York next month.

Her appearance on the trip, in contrast, was one of demure elegance _ and British commentators were charmed. Wednesday brought three daytime ensembles: all gray, all Christian Dior, and reminding more than one commentator of the late Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis.

“I think she looks sophisticated and she looks chic, which is much more important,” said Nicole Smallwood of Marie Claire magazine.

For Wednesday’s state banquet, Bruni-Sarkozy wore a midnight blue silk georgette dress from the same designer.

British observers noted the aptness of the choice. Dior is a French fashion house whose chief designer, John Galliano, is English.

On Thursday, Bruni-Sarkozy wore a gray trouser suit and a double-breasted purple knee-length coat _ and, as she has throughout the trip, flat shoes. Bruni-Sarkozy, at 5 foot 9, is several inches taller than her husband.

When Sarkozy addressed Parliament on Wednesday, the assembled lawmakers and peers listened attentively _ but many eyes were on Bruni-Sarkozy, sitting in poised silence at her husband’s side.

“Crusty old codgers who spend their lives steeped in policy documents smiled for the first time in years,” wrote Simon Hoggart in The Guardian newspaper.

Sarkozy was asked Thursday whether the elegies in the British press about his wife were excessive.

Of course not, said he.

“I was very moved by the welcome accorded to Carla,” Sarkozy said.

“I can tell you that for me it is very moving and I think she has brought honor to our country, not just for reasons of external appearance, but because beneath that appearance _ everyone understands that _ is a woman of beliefs, sensitivity, humanity. And it is these beliefs, this sensitivity, this humanity that make up the elegance of Carla.”


Associated Press Writer John Leicester contributed to this report.


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