Friday, February 27, 2009

New Advocate Coming to Town


Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia to move to US to campaign against domestic violence French President Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia Attias is moving to the US to campaign against domestic violence.

By Peter Allen in Paris
Last Updated: 12:13PM GMT 26 Feb 2009

Cecilia Attias plans to work as an independent lobbyist, devoting herself to the newly formed Cecilia Attias Foundation for Woman
Mrs Attias, who once complained to police about "brutal exchanges" with Mr Sarkozy before he was president, has set up a foundation with her new husband Richard Attias to promote women's rights.

But she revealed that she will not expect to see much of Mr Attias as he will continue to work largely in Dubai.

The couple lived together in New York when Cecilia, 51, was briefly separated from Mr Sarkozy before they finally divorced.

Mrs Attias told Gala magazine that she was leaving Dubai, where Mr Attias runs a successful public relations agency, because she wanted to "give everything" to her foundation.

She also said that her young son with Mr Sarkozy, Louis, 11, had always "dreamed of living" in New York, where "he has his friends".

Referring to her third husband, Cecilia said: "Richard will continue to work in Dubai, in the United States and elsewhere, but his little family will be based in New York."

At the time of her police complaint the glamorous former model was conducting an on-off affaire with the multi-millionaire businessman she finally married last March.

Mrs Attias plans to work an independent lobbyist, devoting herself to the newly formed Cecilia Attias Foundation for Woman.

Setting out its aims, the foundation's publicity reads: "In 2009, the cause chosen by Cecilia Attias is the fight against domestic violence, a terrible plague that is unfortunately increasing rapidly."

The development will be of concern to Mr Sarkozy following allegations contained in Love, Rupture and Betrayal, a book by the highly respected French author Hubert Coudurier.

Published last year, it records a vicious row between Mr Sarkozy and Cecilia before the presidential elections of May 2007.

There was no suggestion of physical violence and no action was taken against Mr Sarkozy by police.

He moved out of the home he shared with Cecilia in Neuilly-sur-Seine, an upmarket Paris suburb, and was warned by the then interior minister, Francois Baroin, about the complaint.

Cecilia refused to vote for her husband in the 2007 election, and did not attend his victory celebrations.

Although Cecilia was briefly France's First Lady, divorce became inevitable.

Mr Sarkozy's third wife, Carla Bruni, admitted last week she was struggling to curb the president's notoriously aggressive temper.

In her most controversial interview to date, she portrayed Mr Sarkozy as a fiery despot who constantly needed to be calmed down.

Carla, whose physical resemblance to Cecilia has often been remarked upon, said: "A lot of people are scared of him, not just because of his position, but because of his temper."

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