What She Wants

Photo: Laurent Baheux/AP Photo

The announcement last week that Cécilia Sarkozy, the glamorous former model and concert pianist, is leaving her hyperactive, and much shorter, husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, means that it is finally possible for her to move to New York. She seems to love this city: Two years ago, she spent over eight months publicly cuckolding her husband here in the company of her boyfriend Richard Attias, who is part Moroccan and runs a PR firm with offices on Sixth Avenue. The two were photographed apartment-hunting here—when Paris Match put the picture on its cover, its editor-in-chief was fired. That affair ended; the Sarkozys reconciled.

It’s unspeakably dull for American women to go on about French women and their scarf-tying and portion control. But to admire Cécilia Sarkozy is another thing entirely. She’s a woman who basically does what she wants; what New Yorker couldn’t admire that? She told a reporter, in the midst of election season, “I don’t want to be First Lady. It bores me.” And then, on Election Day itself, she didn’t bother to vote. Her husband won anyway, and she turned up two hours late to his victory celebration, wearing a Lanvin jumper and pants. (When she did dress up, for his inauguration, instead of a French designer, she wore Prada.) Vacationing with her husband in New Hampshire this summer, she did what any self-respecting New York woman would’ve when invited to lunch in Kennebunkport by a certain glassy-eyed ex-librarian: She complained (cough-cough) of a sore throat and went shopping the next day.

In 2005, she was asked where she saw herself in ten years, and she declared, “Living in New York, jogging around Central Park.” Now seems as good a time as any. She’ll make such a great New Yorker: Where a wealthy American divorcée might imagine accordions, sidewalk cafés, and polyamory in Paris, Cécilia would get her anonymity here. She’d fit right in at Da Silvano or as a sort of glamour trophy ensconced at a banquette at the Waverly Inn. She could shop at Barneys and run into her husband’s nemesis Bernard-Henri Lévy when he’s visiting at the Carlyle, where she’d probably live, at first, anyway. And she could, of course, take those afternoon jogs.

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What She Wants