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World News

Former French first lady weds PR executive

PARIS (Reuters) - The ex-wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has wed a public relations executive in a chic ceremony that the French media poked fun at on Monday.

Former wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz, and Richard Attias (R) arrive at a Broadway show in New York, March 22, 2008. Ciganer-Albeniz, 50, wed Attias, 48, on Sunday, less than two months after Sarkozy wed singer and former model Carla Bruni in Paris. REUTERS/Chip East

Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz, 50, wed Richard Attias, 48, on Sunday, less than two months after Sarkozy wed singer and former model Carla Bruni in Paris.

“Three marriages and a year of erring,” was the headline in France’s Liberation newspaper.

“Knowing perfectly well that this is information which interests no one, let’s remark that this weekend in New York, Cecilia Isabel Ciganer-Albeniz married Richard Attias,” the opening paragraph read on a two-page spread in the left-leaning paper.

Le Figaro said the wedding took place in the elegant Rainbow Room of the Rockefeller Center and that the 150 guests had been asked to come without cameras or portable phones.

Ciganer-Albeniz left Paris with Attias on Tuesday for a full schedule of wedding events, starting with a party at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Friday.

The couple and many of their guests dined out in Manhattan on Saturday and took in the hit Broadway musical “Mamma Mia”, which is set to the music of the pop group Abba.

It was Cecilia’s third marriage.

Sarkozy was the mayor of the affluent Paris suburb Neuilly and in 1984 he performed the marriage between her and television presenter Jacques Martin, with whom she has two daughters.

Her marriage in 1996 with Sarkozy, with whom she has an 11-year-old son Louis, ran into a crisis when he was interior minister and she stayed for a time with Attias.

Cecilia returned in a well-publicised reconciliation and later started off her stint as France’s first lady with an unconventional approach. She never lived in the Elysee palace, there was a media uproar over her presidential credit card and her preference for a state residence in Versailles.

She helped negotiate the release of Bulgarian nurses held in Libya on accusations of inflicting AIDS on children patients.

On Oct. 15, the couple separated. Around Christmas, Sarkozy was photographed at Euro Disney with Bruni.

Bruni married Sarkozy, at the Elysee, on Feb. 2.

Last Thursday, she wrote a column in Le Monde calling an end to a legal case around a SMS message allegedly sent by Sarkozy to Cecilia before the wedding in which he asked her to return.

Bruni and Sarkozy spent the Easter weekend in Morocco before heading to Britain on a state visit.

The news Web site www.bakchich.info said the wedding list for the Attias couple was posted on the Internet site of the Au Bon Marche department store and included a Christofle pepper mill at 205 euros, or Saint Louis glasses at 200 euros, from a list total worth 20,000 euros ($30,920).

Attias, a Frenchman born in Morocco, works for Publicis as an events organiser. The couple is set to move back to Neuilly.

Reporting by Marcel Michelson in Paris and Chris Michaud in New York; Editing by Elizabeth Piper

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