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the real housewives of elysee palace

Lately, the President of France and his First Lady have been in the news.   Rumor has it, the First Lady is having an affair with a popular (and quite unattractive pop star).   The President is allegedly soothing himself with a lover of his own.   I decided to investigate the first family’s background.   I can’t say I learned much about the alleged affairs, but I figured out why reality television isn’t as popular in France as it is in the US.   They’ve got the Sarkozys.



The current first lady is Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.   She’s the daughter of a rich Italian industrialist…well, that’s what she thought.   She found out in her 30’s that she actually had another father and was the product of a six year affair her mother,  a concert pianist,  had with a Brazilian grocery magnate (at the time he was a classical guitarist).   The family moved from Turin to Paris when she was nine.   She attended a swiss boarding school, and then studied art and architecture in Paris until she dropped out to become a model.

As a top model, Carla is probably best known for breaking up Mick Jagger’s marriage with Jerry Hall.   She also dated Eric Clapton before Mick stole her away.   Her only child, Aurelien (a boy, hard to tell with that name), is the product of her union with Raphael Enthoven, the son of publishing magnate Jean-Paul Enthoven who she was living with at the time.  Up until recently, she claimed not to be a fan of monogamy as she found it boring.  Clearly.

Raphael Enthoven, Jean-Paul Enthoven

As a side note, at the time of Carla and Raphael Enthoven’s affair, Raphael was married to writer, Justine Levy (Bernard Henri Levi’s daughter).   The affair and the ending of her marriage were inspiration for her  book “Rien de Grave”  (Nothing Serious).

She met the newly elected Nicolas Sarkozy (aka President Bling-Bling) at a dinner party.   At the time, he was recovering from his divorce from his second wife, Cecilia, and Carla was in between partners.   They fell in love immediately and married within months.

In addition to her job as First Lady of France, she’s now a singer/songwriter and will appear in Woody Allen’s next feature (if she’s not cut).  Is she a talented musician?   You be the judge.

More Carla pictures


The first First Lady is Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz Martin Sarkozy Attias




You gotta love her.   She was Sarkozy’s wife when he was elected President.  She had this habit of disappearing for prolonged periods.   Turns out she was “hiking the Appalachian trail” with a Moroccan advertising executive, Richard Attias.

Sarkozy has described Cecilia as his strength and his Achilles heel.   Pretty poetic, I must say.

They met when Sarkozy was mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine.   At the time, he was on his first marriage to Marie-Dominique.   As Mayor,  he officiated the marriage ceremony of Cecilia (who was eight months pregnant), to popular (late) TV host, Jacques Martin, who was almost twice her age.

Jacques and Cecilia with Marie Dominique and Nicolas

Sarkozy immediately fell in love with her and the two families became close (some members closer than others).   Their affair was discovered by Sarkozy’s first wife, Marie-Dominique when they were on vacation together and she walked in on them.

After the resulting divorces, Cecilia and Nicolas married and had one son together, Louis.

They had a turbulent, infidelity-filled 10 years of marriage before they divorced, shortly after Nicolas became President.   She married Attias in 2008.   She now heads a foundation for women’s issues.

It’s hard not to notice a striking resemblance between Cecilia and Carla.

Marie-Dominique Culioli Sarkozy

Marie-Dominique Culioli-Sarkozy with Jean Paul and Pierre

Marie Dominique Culioli Sarkozy with Jean and Pierre

Poor Marie probably had the roughest go of it, as far as being married to Sarkozy is concerned.   A religious girl from a working Corsican family, she met Nicolas while she was studying at the Sorbonne and he was an up and coming politician.   They married and had two sons, Jean-Paul and Pierre, before he acquired a taste for Rolexes and towering brunettes.

As mentioned above, she discovered her husband’s affair with her friend Cecilia after a few years.  He vacillated back and forth between the two women and finally asked for a divorce.   She fought it and the case dragged on for almost eight years.

She moved back to Corsica for awhile to get away from the prying eyes of the press, but has recently returned to Neuilly-sur-Seine to help with her son Jean’s burgeoning political career, which seems to be taking a similar course to his father’s.   He is councilor in the town of Neuilly.   Marie-Dominique now refers to herself as Madame Sarkozy.   I suppose she sees herself as some dowager empress.

She’s forgiven Nicolas, but will never forgive Cecilia.   She never remarried.

President Bling-Bling

Initially, due to his physical stature (5’5″) and huge ambition, he was called President Napoleon.   But as his showy, model-loving, rolex-wearing, celeb-courting, press-seeking, America-loving (even Bush) showed itself,  the moniker changed to President Bling-Bling.

He’s the first French president who didn’t come from the “ruling class.”By our standards, he’d be considered a moderate, but by French standards, he’s a right wing elitist.

He is said to be unable to be without a woman.   History bears this out.   He waxes poetic about his heartbreak at being cuckolded by Cecilia and it sounds sensitive and heartbreaking if one forgets his own faithlessness.   But I’ll say one thing for him:   I don’t think he’ll be caught with 15 tattooed stripper porn star escorts with huge fake knockers.  He seems to like intelligent feisty women.   A lot.

To be fair, this sort of behavior is not entirely new for French Presidents.   Hell, Mitterand had a secret second family.  And Chirac was known as a bon vivant with many dalliances.   What is new is that it’s being reported.    French law dictates that the personal life of Presidents be kept private.   But Bling-Bling laid it all out for them (he likes the fame?).

Can you imagine if our politicians behaved this way?   No…let me rephrase that.   Can you imagine if we found out our politicians behaved this way?   No…let me rephrase that.   What would happen if we found out that President Obama is sleeping with Beyonce while Michelle is bonking Usher?   Would we (gasp!) start acting like the French?

Well, at the last Presidential election in France, 88% of eligible voters turned out to vote versus 56% in the US.   Maybe we’d pay more attention to politics, stop watching so much reality TV and get a decent healthcare system into place.

The Sarkozy boys

Louis Sarkozy

Jean Sarkozy

Pierre Sarkozy

The current alleged lovers

Benjamin Biolay

Chantal Jouanno


9 Responses

  1. […] The real housewives of elysee palace A look at President Sarkozy’s many wives and their many lovers.   And you thought the Kennedys were busy. […]

  2. Not having read much about this most recent pseudo-scandal, when you said Bruni was cavorting with an “quite unattractive pop star” it was Johnny Hallyday whom I first thought of.

  3. […] about real housewives in France. Powered by WizardRSS | Full Text RSS […]

  4. These people just don’t have their brains where they should be. No pride at all or self respect–

  5. The last two photos of Nicolas Sarkozy’s grownup sons are both of Jean Sarkozy. That is not Pierre. But thank you for the article :-))

    • Hi Rebecka,
      Thanks for the info. I’m deeply ashamed. But that Jean is pretty cute, no? Will have to search for Pierre pix. I hope he’s as cute as Jean.

  6. http://musique.ados.fr/pierre-sarkozy/photos/pierre-sarkozy-portrait.html
    Here is a picture of PIerre Sarkozy, the eldest son of Sarkozy. He is much less arrogant than his brothers.

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