January 29, 2009 / 1:30 PM / 11 years ago

Sarkozy ex-wife burgled by jewel thieves

PARIS (Reuters) - Thieves broke into the home of the ex-wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and stole thousands of euros worth of jewelry, police sources said on Thursday but there were conflicting accounts of the value of the haul.

Former wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz, and Richard Attias arrive at a Broadway show in New York, March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Chip East

Police sources said that jewels worth 500,000 euros had been stolen earlier this month, but an associate of Sarkozy’s former wife Cecilia Attias said the value was a tenth of that.

“The amount of jewelry stolen was 50,000 euros and it was the night of the 31st of December,” Corinne Debury, the organizer of the MENA Crystal Awards in which Cecilia participated in Lebanon, told Reuters.

Cecilia, who divorced Sarkozy in 2007 just months after he took office, has since married public relations executive Richard Attias.

Police sources said thieves broke into her upmarket house on the outskirts of Paris earlier this month, but investigators have not had the chance to interview her.

Sarkozy’s relationship with his former wife was a turbulent one, marked by a very public separation in 2005 when Cecilia briefly left him for Attias.

They eventually got back together but Cecilia’s distaste for official life grew more marked after Sarkozy’s election victory in 2007 and the couple officially separated in October 2007 after 11 years of marriage.

Months later, Sarkozy married former supermodel Carla Bruni.

A noted fashion lover who wielded considerable political influence before her split from Sarkozy, Cecilia has been making something of a media comeback and is currently adorning the cover of at least two glossy magazines on Paris newsstands.

(Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy in Beirut)

Writing by James Mackenzie

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