Paris gossips were trying to sort out fact from fiction today as the blogosphere raised tantalising questions about the glamorous pop 'n' politics marriage of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni.
While the "traditional" French media remained silent, bloggers and Twitterers spread word of alleged infidelity in high places - on both sides.
Miss Bruni, the French-Italian singer-songwriter and ex-girlfriend of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, has, it is claimed, become "close to" French singer Benjamin Biolay.
The suggestion gained credibility when it was picked up by the online version of "Le Journal du Dimanche".
They have certainly collaborated musically, on a Carla Bruni album in 2008.
But a cosier collaboration was implied by claims in the Journal du Dimanche that the pair went on holiday to Thailand, and, according to the "suchablog.com" website, that they spend time together at a Paris flat.
A suggestion that President Sarkozy sought "comfort" in the arms of his Secretary of State for Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, a 40-year old married karate champion, has prompted the only "official" response to the whole saga - her spokesman threatened that she would take legal action over any "slanderous comments".
Strict French laws ban media intrusion into public people's private lives, but the blogosphere remains a grey area.
So while the Elysee Palace keeps silent, and in the wake of President Sarkozy's own blatant courting of media attention when he wooed Miss Bruni, some believe it is open season if the celebrated presidential romance has now hit the rocks.
It remains a big "if", and most mainstream media are steering well clear in the absence of solid fact.
However, one television news channel "i-tele", managed to find reason to mention all four personalities in the virtually the same breath, pointing out that Carla Bruni was first to congratulate Mr Biolay on being named best male singer for winning best album of the year award - and wondering whether President Sarkozy had congratulated his ecology minister on a recent karate prize.
It is a far cry from the three-month whirlwind romance which culminated in the Sarkozy-Bruni marriage in February 2008.
The pair met soon after President Sarkozy's divorce from his second wife Cecilia, but Carla Bruni has not always supported marriage.
"I'm monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry," she told the Figaro Madame magazine in 2007, adding: "Love lasts a long time, but burning desire, two or three weeks."Reuse content