Carla Bruni-Sarkozy 'expecting baby'

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.





The Bild newspaper today quoted Sarkozy's father Pal Sarkozy as confirming that his son and wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are expecting their first child together.



"Neither wants to know the gender beforehand, but I'm certain it will be a girl, and beautiful like Carla," he's quoted as saying.



Sarkozy's office would not comment, saying it's a private matter. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has been coy about it in recent public appearances.



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 Elysee 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.



Yesterday, 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!"



The French first couple disappointed fans and organizers of the Cannes Film Festival by not appearing at the opening night last week. Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," which features the French first lady in a small but much-hyped role, opened the festival.



Bruni-Sarkozy told a radio interviewer she would sit out the festival "for personal and also for professional reasons," spurring the pregnancy speculation.



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.



She and Sarkozy married in early 2008. She has one son from an earlier relationship, and Sarkozy has three sons from his two previous marriages.

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