Nicolas Sarkozy's office confirmed that he and his indomitable wife Cecilia are separating even as transit strikers railing against his economic reforms have idled France—handing the bombastic French president a bad day, indeed. The 1-2 punch ends months of speculation about the collapse of the 11-year marriage, and provides Sarkozy the biggest challenge of his nascent presidency.
Cecilia Sarkozy, a model who told a reporter before the May election that the idea of being France's first lady "bores me," has recently been spotted in a Swiss hotel where an old lover lives. The Sarkozys were separated for several months in 2005. Meanwhile, strikes protesting Sarkozy's proposed pension cutbacks crippled 90% of French transit, with some union workers vowing to continue the strike tomorrow.