Paris Match: Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy

Just months after his May 2007 election, French president Nicolas Sarkozy faced growing criticism over his stalled reforms, flashy style, and stormy divorce. The last straw should have been his whirlwind remarriage, to an Italian heiress, ex-model, and singer who had past liaisons with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, among others, and nude photos all over the Internet. But the lady in question, Carla Bruni, is proving an unexpected asset. At the Élysée Palace, Maureen Orth encounters a pair of romantic predators who appear to have met their matches.

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Letter from Paris Season of Scandale

For decades France ignored its presidents’ private lives, but the ascension of Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, has turned that tradition on its head. Will rumors of infidelity, secret marriage contracts, and illegal wiretaps derail Sarkozy’s presidency? And is any of it true?

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