Carla Bruni says will keep baby out of view

PARIS Sun Sep 4, 2011 2:53pm EDT

French President Nicolas Sarkozy puts his hands upon his pregnant wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as they greet leaders for dinner at the G8 Summit in Deauville May 26, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

French President Nicolas Sarkozy puts his hands upon his pregnant wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as they greet leaders for dinner at the G8 Summit in Deauville May 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

PARIS (Reuters) - French first lady Carla Bruni said on Sunday she will keep the baby she is expecting with President Nicolas Sarkozy strictly out of view and not allow any photographs to be shown publicly.

Bruni, who is due to give birth in the autumn, said she did not know whether she was expecting a boy or a girl, but her main aim was to protect the infant from the glare of publicity.

"You don't have a child for the gallery," Bruni told TF1 television in an interview.

"I understand the media interest (but) for children it's not possible. I will do everything to protect this infant and I'll be absolutely rigorous. I will never show photos of this child, I will never expose this child," she said.

Bruni's remarks suggested Sarkozy will shy away from using glossy magazine spreads of a newborn baby to polish his family-man image later this year as he announces a widely expected run at a second term in next year's presidential election.

The conservative is expected to announce his reelection plans in early November, just after France's G20 heads of state summit in Cannes and close to the time Bruni, a former supermodel, is expected to give birth.

Sarkozy's low popularity ratings have inched up during the summer as photos of him relaxing at the beach with the heavily pregnant Bruni gave him a family glow that contrasted with coverage of his erstwhile election rival on the left, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was in New York fighting sex assault charges.

Bruni, 43, and also a singer-songwriter, said she learned her lesson when she let paparazzi snap photos of her son from a former relationship, Aurelien, perched on Sarkozy's shoulders on a trip to Egypt during their whirlwind courtship.

Sarkozy's rapid attachment to the glamorous Bruni on the tails of his 2007 election and just a few months after his separation from his ex-wife Cecilia created a media frenzy.

With many French people critical of a manner they see as too brash and flashy for a head of state, Sarkozy has been at pains in recent months to act in a more austere and presidential way. He and Bruni kept silent about the long-rumored pregnancy until mid-July.

Bruni shed no light on when Sarkozy will announce his election plans, but said she hoped he would be there for the birth of their first child together.

(Reporting by Catherine Bremer)