It's Complicated: The Relationship Statuses of France's Presidential Candidates
This weekend, France will vote for its next president. After a first round, it's down to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger Francois Hollande. Since Sarkozy was elected in 2007, a lot has changed. One of the most intriguing evolutions has been the love connections among the politicians.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is technically the second first lady France has known under Sarkozy. When he was elected, he was married to his second wife Cécilia Sarkozy (now Attias). In 1983, then mayor Sarkozy conducted Cécilia's first wedding and reportedly fell in love with her that day. She left her husband in 1988 to live with Sarkozy, who didn't divorce his first wife until 1996, the same year he married Cécilia. They remained married during his first campaign. But only a few months after his May 2007 election, they announced their divorce and Cécilia confessed that she had run away with another man. Could you imagine Michelle Obama doing this months into Barack Obama's first term? Soon after the split, France would get another first lady in the form of Italian-born singer/supermodel Carla Bruni. Sarkozy met Carla Bruni a month after his split at a dinner party, and after a quick romance they married in Feb. 2008. They went on to have a daughter last year.
So what about Francois Hollande, the man who could beat Sarkozy and become France's next president? His love life actually has a Sarkozy connection. His partner from 1973 to 2007, Ségolène Royal was the person to go head-to-head against Sarkozy in the last presidential election. Ségolène and Francois were partners for more than 30 years and have four children together. Both are major figures in the country's Socialist Party, but a month after her 2007 loss to Sarkozy, they announced their separation. Soon, France learned the details of Francois Hollande's relationship with journalist Valérie Trierweiler, whom he's still with today. Without any hurt feelings, Ségolène has backed her ex-partner, who is now trying to accomplish something she couldn't: beating Nicolas Sarkozy.
See some photos of all the parties involved now.