Carla Bruni

A Model First Lady?

UPDATED 01/21/2008 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/21/2008 at 01:00 AM EST

French President Nicolas Sarkozy doesn't mess around. His compatriots had barely adjusted to the news, delivered just five months after he took office last May, that he had divorced his wife of 11 years, Cécilia. Now, three months later, he's inseparable from a new love, Italian former model (and Mick Jagger ex) Carla Bruni. "It's serious," he told a packed press conference in Paris Jan. 8. "We don't wish to hide."

Not to worry: Sarkozy, 52, and Bruni, 39, have been a photographer's dream since they met at a party arranged by a mutual friend to cheer up the suddenly single president last fall. He was "very lonely," the friend, public relations exec Jacques Séguéla, told Radio Europe 1. "He called me saying, 'I can't take being alone at night at the Elysée anymore.'" Since then, they've shown up at the Chateâu de Versailles and Disneyland Paris and taken trips to Jordan and Egypt, where Bruni sported a pink, heart-shaped diamond on her left hand. Neither she nor Sarkozy will disclose a wedding date, but Bruni's mom, Marisa Borini, is clearly pleased. "My daughter," she told the newspaper Le Parisien, "is living a true love story."

LOVE, FRENCH-STYLE

HER RACY PAST

Bruni's previous loves include Eric Clapton (left in 1989) and Mick Jagger (inset), who was married to Jerry Hall at the time. That wasn't Bruni's only brush with scandal. In 2000, while living with a French publisher, she began an affair with his married son, Raphaël Enthoven. She and Enthoven wed, had a son, Aurélien, now 6, and divorced in 2006.

TWO WOMEN, ONE RING

Sarkozy, a father of five, doesn't seem to like change. After he and Cécilia ended their 11-year marriage in October, he took up with another tall brunette: Bruni is 5'9"; he is 5'4". Soon, close observers noticed that Bruni was wearing a heart-shaped Dior ring that looked awfully similar to the one Cécilia wore (see left).

POP STAR

The smoky-voiced Bruni (performing in Germany last April) quit modeling in 1997 and took up singing. Her first CD, released in 2002, sold 2 million copies. She's currently at work on her third.

LASTING AFFAIR?

The couple, who have not set a wedding date, have traveled together for pleasure (here, in Egypt), but Saudi authorities reportedly told Sarkozy not to bring a lady friend on an official visit Jan. 13—unless she's his wife.

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