Sarkozy, Wife Confirm Split

First couple confirms split as transit strike grinds France to halt
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2007 7:41 AM CDT
Then new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, wipes a tear on his wife Cecilia's cheek at the Elysee Palace in Paris during Sarkozy's taking office ceremony in this May, 16, 2007 file photo. Sarkozy...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.