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Frances Sarkozy drops legal complaint over article about his love life
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    PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy has dropped his legal case against a magazine that claimed he tried to win back his ex-wife while planning for his February wedding, the leader’s new bride said.
    Writing in Wednesday’s Le Monde newspaper, model-singer Carla Bruni said she had received an apology from the journalist, Airy Routier, and that her husband had dropped his case against Le Nouvel Observateur, which published the story on its Web site.
    The report alleged that Sarkozy sent his ex-wife, Cecilia Sarkozy, a text message reading ‘‘If you come back, I’ll cancel everything’’ — just eight days before his wedding to Bruni.
    The report did not provide other details about the alleged message or say where the journalist got the information. Sarkozy filed a legal challenge against the news magazine, saying the report was fabricated.
    In Le Monde, Bruni argued that the magazine had broken its charter, which says in its guidelines that information must be double-checked and verified, and that news cannot be based on rumors.
    ‘‘If from now on, rumor feeds information, if fantasies feed scoops, where are we heading?’’ she wrote. ‘‘If great newspapers stop separating the facts from the gossip, who will do it?’’
    Sarkozy accused the news magazine of using falsehoods. The charges are punishable by up to three years in prison and fines of up to $65,000.
    Routier has said he did not see the text message but that his information was reliable.
    He insisted Wednesday that the SMS did indeed exist and accused Sarkozy of filing the complaint ‘‘to intimidate all journalists.’’ He told France Inter radio that he wrote the letter to Bruni as a personal gesture because he ‘‘didn’t realize how much the publication of the SMS would hurt’’ her.
    Sarkozy divorced Cecilia in October. He and Bruni went public with their relationship in December, less than a month after they reportedly met. The February wedding was the third for 53-year-old Sarkozy, who has three sons. It was the first for Bruni, 40, who has a young son from a previous relationship.
    The Le Monde piece was signed ‘‘Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.’’ The Elysee Palace has declined to comment on whether she has changed her name.

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