Ryanair to pay Sarkozy and new wife $90,000 in damages

PARIS, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - A Paris court has upheld a lawsuit filed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his new wife, supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni, against the budget Irish airline Ryanair, French media said on Tuesday.

The ruling came in connection with an advertisement published in the popular French daily Le Parisien that showed Sarkozy and Bruni smiling while a thought balloon above Bruni's head read, "With Ryanair my entire family can come to my wedding."

The couple had complained that their images were used without their consent.

The court ordered Ryanair to pay a total of 60,000 euros ($90,000) in damages to Bruni, who had earlier asked the Irish airline to pay 500,000 euros ($736,000). Sarkozy had only asked for a symbolic sum of one euro ($1.47) in damages.

Ryanair France's commercial director, Matthieu Glasson, apologized for offending the president and his wife. "We are surprised because if you look at the ad, the photo shows both of them in quite a positive light: they are smiling, we aren't making them say anything stupid," he said.

Sarkozy, 53, and Bruni, 40, have been on the front pages of newspapers and magazines since his divorce from his second wife Cecilia in October. In December, Bruni accompanied the president on his trip to Egypt and later to Jordan.

Bruni became France's First Lady on February 2. The couple tied knot at a private ceremony held at the Elysee Palace in the presence of their families.

French media said on Tuesday that the president's ex-wife Cecilia was planning the 'tit-for-tat' move of getting married to her lover, Richard Attias, a Moroccan-born events organizer, in New York in March.

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