Sarkozy's father spills beans on Carla pregnancy
IT WAS the worst-kept secret in France -- even so it proved too much for one expectant grandfather to keep.
Last night French President Nicolas Sarkozy's father spilled the beans and told Germany's top-selling newspaper that France's model-turned-singer first lady was pregnant.
And one of Carla Bruni's predecessors admitted it was a good thing.
"It's wonderful news to see this baby coming. It's a chance for France, absolutely," Bernadette Chirac, wife of ex-French President Jacques Chirac, said in Paris yesterday at an event for a literacy foundation hosted by France's first couple.
"It's a wonderful event for a family, the arrival of a child. There is nothing nicer. A baby at the Elysee (presidential palace), yes. It's wonderful for them and for all the French people."
Mrs Bruni, also attending the event, wouldn't respond to questions by reporters about the pregnancy. Mr Sarkozy's office refused to comment.
Germany's 'Bild' newspaper quoted Mr Sarkozy's father Pal Sarkozy yesterday as saying: "Neither wants to know the gender beforehand, but I'm certain it will be a girl, and beautiful like Carla."
A pregnancy could be a potential strategic coup for Mr Sarkozy, less than a year ahead of presidential elections. The incumbent's popularity is in the doldrums, but a baby in the presidential palace could help voters relate to a man they have seen as increasingly out of touch with their worries.
Reports of her pregnancy first surfaced in late April, when magazine 'Closer' ran a story saying the 43-year-old first lady was three-months pregnant. The magazine said that officials were keeping it under wraps because her age made it a high-risk pregnancy.
Yesterday, at the end of a French television interview with Mrs Bruni about her foundation against illiteracy, host Jean-Pierre Pernaud said: "I know you hate talking about your private life, but I want to simply congratulate you."
Mrs Bruni responded with a big smile: "I congratulate you too!"
From a wealthy family from the Italian city of Turin, Mrs Bruni had a successful career as a model before becoming a singer-songwriter, known for her soulful lyrics and wispy voice. She's also known for her topsy-turvy romantic life, which included relationships with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.
She and Mr Sarkozy married in early 2008 and she has one son from an earlier relationship.