Aznar 'may have fathered French minister's baby'

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The rumoured love life of the former prime minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar has become hot news, fuelling gossip columnists, a court case and a supposed investigation by Moroccan spies.

A Madrid judge ordered the TV station Telecinco to pay Mr Aznar €240,000 (£223,000) in damages yesterday for reporting in 2007 that Mr Aznar and his wife, Ana Botella, were to separate because of a supposed infidelity by the famously uncharismatic Mr Aznar. The former leader and Ms Botella, a Madrid councillor, denied the report and threatened legal action against those who repeated the "false" and "degrading" accusation.

Now it is rumoured that Mr Aznar may have fathered the child of the French Justice Minister, Rachida Dati, who is eight months pregnant. Ms Dati, daughter of a Moroccan immigrant, has not said who the father is, but El Pais said that Moroccan spies had investigated and were pointing to Mr Aznar. Mr Aznar strongly denies the allegation.