PARIS – President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia, have informed a judge they are separating, a respected newsweekly reported Wednesday. The president's office would not comment on the report.
Rumors that the couple was on the verge of officially separating have spread for weeks and French media have widely reported the suspicions — with no official denials.
Both Sarkozy's spokesman, David Martinon, and Cecilia Sarkozy's spokeswoman, Carina Alfonso Martin, responded to queries Wednesday with a "no comment."
The Web site of Le Nouvel Observateur said that the 52-year-old president and his 49-year-old wife "went before a judge together at the end of the day on Monday, Oct. 15, to materialize the separation procedure of the couple."
It did not cite sources for the information or elaborate on what "materialization" of the separation meant. The report followed rumors that the Sarkozys would make such a move on Wednesday.
A different version was reported by news channel LCI. It said on its Web site that Cecilia Sarkozy saw a judge alone on Monday morning and the judge later visited the presidential Elysee Palace to countersign a document.
"I have no comment to make on this subject," said government spokesman Laurent Wauquiez. He added that Sarkozy had been in a good mood at a weekly Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
Judicial officials said divorce proceedings are a private affair and not a matter of public record, even when it involves the president.
Word of a possible separation comes five months after Sarkozy took office and shortly before the couple's 11th wedding anniversary on Oct. 23.
The Sarkozys were separated for several months in 2005, getting back together as the presidential campaign began moving into high gear. However, Cecilia Sarkozy did not vote in the final round of the election in May and has rarely appeared with her husband in public since.
Martinon has said that Sarkozy would travel alone on a state visit next week to Morocco.
The enigmatic Cecilia Sarkozy shuns the title first lady and has refused to define a role for herself.
Both of the Sarkozys have previously been married. Together they have five children, including their own son, Louis.