Saturday, October 20, 2007

Divorce Official

The divorce between Nicolas and Cecilia Sarkozy has been declared official by an announcement from Elysée Palace on Thursday (October 18). For her part, Cecilia granted an interview with the regional daily L'Est Républicain in which she stated that she and her ex-husband had tried everything to save the marriage but it wasn't possible.

Yahoo has this summary of her interview:

Admitting to having "met someone" in 2005 and "fallen in love", and having "left her home", Cecilia acknowledged that she returned a year ago to "try to rebuild something," without success.

"What happened to me has happened to millions of people: one day, you no longer belong in the relationship. It is no longer the essential thing in your life, it doesn't function any more," explained the former "first lady". "We tried to rebuild, to put our family ahead of everything else, this extended family that the French talk about, to give it priority, but it wasn't possible. We tried, I tried everything. It simply was not possible," she continued.

Besides the couple's personal difficulties, Cecilia Sarkozy said that she wanted to "retire from public life", because "it does not suit her", describing herself as "someone who loves the shadows, serenity, tranquility". (...)

"For a year I have tried to commit myself professionally and personally, but it didn't work out well all the time," confided Cecilia Sarkozy, explaining that her repeated absences at national events was due to her desire "not to show herself, not to expose herself, to protect herself." (...)

The lawyer for the couple, Michèle Cahen, explained that the divorce was granted on Monday October 15 before the presiding judge for family matters at the Nanterre courthouse, Mme Choubrac. "They both came to court, in my presence, and repeated before the judge their desire to separate. The divorce is therefore official," she stated.

Nicolas Sarkozy, 52, is the first French president to divorce while in office. Married in 1996, the couple has a son, Louis, 10, who will live most of the time with his mother, but "maintain close contact with his father," explained Attorney Cahen.

The couple was the image of an extended family, with their children Judith and Jeanne-Marie, born from Cecilia's first marriage with actor Jacques Martin, and Pierre and Jean, born from Nicolas Sarkozy's first marriage.

For his part Nicolas Sarkozy said only that he had been elected to find solutions to the problems of France, not to comment on his private life. "If you think the French elected me for anything other than work, work, work..."

The spokesman for Elysée, David Martinon, said that "there is no reason why the divorce should change anything in the functioning of Elysée."

On the international scene, the only person to react to the divorce was the Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi, who was saddened to see the divorce of his "friends", and deplored that fact that he had not had the time to help them mend the relationship.

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At October 20, 2007 1:04 PM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

This is of course sad but not a surprise. I'm sure it is difficult to make things work after an infidelity on either side, though from a Catholic point of view divorce is not an option and certainly destabilizing to children.

Like most people, I'm reluctant to comment on someone's private life, and I don't think it will effect the President's ability to do fulfill his obligations of office (though a happy, stable home life certainly helps), but I do have a longing to see a "model family" or "model marriage" like King George III of England (despite the problems with his sons), that would serve as an example to the nation, at least to strive for. Now Cécilia is on the cover of Elle, and I do not think this popularizing and banalisation of divorce is good for society as a whole.

At October 20, 2007 3:07 PM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

Oh, as to Mr. Q, erstwhile "marriage counselor" and dictator, here is another interesting declaration of his that we should perhaps take more seriously and indeed ignore at our peril:

At October 20, 2007 3:43 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ dauphin

The articles in French all spoke of their "famille recomposée" which has become "décomposée". She herself said that is how the French speak of them. So you are right - they are setting a standard and a precedent.

I can't tell people to live in a miserable marriage, but he is president of France; one would think she would feel honored to have the position of first lady, symbolic though it may be. Although I've heard she has little interest in things French - she seems to be more of a "cosmopolitan."

It would have been better if she had divorced him a year ago, rather than go through this charade. I can't help wondering if he has been playing around, making it impossible for her to put up with 5 years of cheating.

Now I guess she'll join her "ami" in New York?

I must admit though, that what Mitterand did was no better - keeping secret his mistress and daughter until the very end.

And have you been keeping up with Rudolph Giuliani's crazy married life? His third wife calls him constantly on the cell phone, even if he is giving a speech. And there is hell to pay if he doesn't answer!

At October 20, 2007 5:17 PM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

@ tiberge

Well, it is a precedent for a French head of state, but I'm afraid it's just a confirmation of a standard that has already been set for some time now, with famille recomposée or décomposée; it is nonetheless troubling to see at this level. Well, I know there were all sorts of rumors, but I really don't know what the truth is, though it seems that a charade was kept up to help him through the campaign. The divorce may have been decided on months ago. As to Rudi, yes I saw the phone call at the NRA, but wonder if this was just political theatre. In any case, he may be the only one who can beat Lady Macbeth Clinton.

At October 20, 2007 5:40 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ dauphin

I think I misspoke. I didn't mean that they created a new standard. As you say, the standard has existed for a long while. They are products of the "new morality" as much as anybody.

I'm sure it was a charade for the election. Even from the day of the first round she was unwilling to show herself.

As for Rudi - I've heard it goes on all the time, but I don't have details. It's hard to imagine a tough cop caving in to his nagging wife.

At October 21, 2007 9:43 PM, Blogger Charles Henry said...

I wonder if there's any significance to be made from the fact that both French presidential candidates for the 2eme tour, are now both separated from their respective partners.

Maybe Sego and Sarko are fated to be together..? (what a plot for a comedy!)

At October 22, 2007 3:51 PM, Anonymous zazie said...

How right you are, Charles Henry ! It IS a comedy, not very funny, not vety witty, byt definitely ridiculous...
Anyway, Nicolas and Cécilia are used to divorcing.
I agree with Tiberge : the victims are of course the children in those "familles décomposées" ; as a teacher, I have often seen teenagers utterly destroyed by the divorce of their parents ; I felt I had no right to tell them other behaviours were possible and...preferable. That was not everybody's opinion : my son was told (by a social worker in his school) that he was "not normal" since "there was no problem in his family".....

At October 22, 2007 4:31 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

In my school system every child was classified as something or other - learning disabled, psychologically challenged, academically challenged, retarded educable, retarded not-educable, and so forth. If a child had no special needs he was considered "mentally gifted". This meant that he knew which bus to take and how to tie his shoelaces.

Sorry. A slight exaggeration - but only slight!


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