Court rejects appeal to block book critical of Sarkozy

February 28th, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by admin  

Paris, Jan 11 (DPA) A book in which the former wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls him a philanderer who is unworthy of being president went on sale Friday after a Paris court rejected her demand to stop its publication, France-Info radio reported. In the book, titled simply Cecilia, the former first lady is quoted by author Anna Bitton as saying, “Nicolas is a philanderer” and “Nicolas is stingy.”

She also describes him as “a man who likes no-one, not even his children,” and goes on to say that he is not worthy of being the president.

“There is a ridiculous side to him. He is not dignified. He does not make a real president of the Republic. He has a behavioural problem.”

Bitton, a journalist for the weekly Le Point, said she regretted her subject’s reaction to the book.

“The book was based on a long relationship (with her) carried out over years during my work as a political journalist,” she said.

In its judgment, the Paris court said that the book did not invade the privacy of Cecilia Sarkozy and her former husband, as she had claimed in her suit to suppress it.

Her lawyer said she would appeal the decision. A judgment on the appeal was expected to be handed down later Friday.

After extracts from the book were published on the website of the weekly le Nouvel Observateur earlier in the week, Cecilia Sarkozy denied having made the statements and asked her lawyers to block the book’s publication.

This was not her first attempt to stop publication of a potentially embarrassing book.

In 2005, after she left her husband for an advertising executive, she and Sarkozy, then interior minister, reportedly put pressure on a publisher to stop publication of Entre le Coeur et la Raison (Between Reason and the Heart), a biography in which Cecilia reportedly spoke openly about her marriage to Sarkozy and her affair.

She eventually returned to her husband, and was at his side during his successful presidential campaign. Their divorce was announced Oct 18.

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