Ex-French-first lady: Sarkozy baby news wonderful

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
French Presidents wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy poses is seen prior to a television interview, in Paris, Monday May 16, 2011. (Thibault Camus, pool/AP Photo)

French President's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy poses is seen prior to a television interview, in Paris, Monday May 16, 2011. (Thibault Camus, pool/AP Photo)

The expectant granddad has spilled the beans: Nicolas Sarkozy's father told Germany's top-selling newspaper that France's model-turned-singer first lady is pregnant.

And one of /*Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's*/ predecessors says it's a good thing.

"It's wonderful news to see this baby coming. It's a chance for France, absolutely," /*Bernadette Chirac,*/ wife of ex-French /*President Jacques Chirac,8? told reporters in Paris on Tuesday at an event for a literacy foundation hosted by Bruni-Sarkozy.

"And a birth, it's a wonderful event for a family, the arrival of a child. There is nothing nicer. A baby at the Elysee (presidential palace), yes. It's wonderful for them and for all the French people," Chirac said.

Bruni-Sarkozy, also attending the event, wouldn't respond to questions by The Associated Press about the pregnancy. Sarkozy's office refused all comment.

Germany's Bild newspaper on Tuesday quoted Sarkozy's father Pal Sarkozy as saying: "Neither wants to know the gender beforehand, but I'm certain it will be a girl, and beautiful like Carla."

A pregnancy could be a potential strategic coup for Sarkozy, less than a year ahead of presidential elections. The incumbent's popularity is in the doldrums, but a baby in the presidential palace could help voters relate to a man they have seen as increasingly out of touch with their worries.

Reports of her pregnancy first surfaced in late April, when gossip magazine Closer ran a story saying the 43-year-old first lady was three months pregnant. The magazine said that officials were keeping it under wraps because her age makes it a high-risk pregnancy.

Bruni-Sarkozy and Sarkozy married in early 2008 - less than a year after he took office. She has a son from an earlier relationship, and Sarkozy has three sons from his two previous marriages.

She has made no bones about her desire for another child: in 2009, Bruni-Sarkozy conceded in a published interview that she would adopt one if she were not able to have one with her husband.

The speculation has been rising in recent weeks that she was pregnant. Since France's Fifth Republic began in 1958, no president has fathered - they've all been men - a child while in office.

On Monday, at the end of a French television interview with Bruni-Sarkozy about her foundation against illiteracy, host Jean-Pierre Pernaud said: "I know you hate talking about your private life, but I want to simply congratulate you."

Bruni-Sarkozy responded with a big smile: "I congratulate you, too!"

From a wealthy family from the Italian city of Turin, Bruni-Sarkozy had a successful career as a model before becoming a singer-songwriter, known for her soulful lyrics and wispy voice. She's also known for her topsy-turvy romantic life, which included relationships with the likes of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.

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