Is Cécilia Breaking His Heart—Encore?

Sarko's mercurial wife skips out on visit to freed Bulgarian nurses
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2007 10:37 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, second from right, looks at an album with Bulgarian nurses, Valia Tcherveniachka, right, Palestinian born Bulgarian doctor Ashadf Ahmad Juma'a, left, and Kistiana Valtcheva,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Bulgarian government honored French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Cécilia, for their recent efforts in helping to free five Bulgarian nurses held in Libya. But the president attended the ceremony alone. Despite weeks of planning, the first lady backed out. She hasn't made an official appearance since July, reviving rumors that her often-troubled marriage could be on the rocks again. 

Mrs. Sarkozy's office insisted that she skipped out on the ceremony because she didn't want to revive the criticism that surrounded her negotiations that led to the nurses' release. But  France's première dame is making a habit of disappearing. She recently skipped a major dinner and a TV appearance. She also avoided a visit with President Bush and family last summer, and was seen a short time later shopping.