18:00 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Former French President and candidate for the right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party primaries ahead of the 2017 presidential election Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and his wife Carla Bruni look on during a meeting in Toulon, southeastern France, on October 21, 2016.

    Nicolas Sarkozy Becomes Laughing Stock for Rising Above Carla Bruni on Magazine Cover

    © AFP 2019 / Bertrand Langlois
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    Three years after a defeat in a French primary, Nicolas Sarkozy has made a comeback to writing but ruled out a comeback to politics.

    Nicolas Sarkozy has graced the front page of the Paris Match magazine this week alongside his wife, Carla Bruni, as his autobiography hit store shelves in France.

    “Why in the world would it be newsworthy at all?” one might ask.

    The two are seen smiling at the camera, with Carla’s arm wrapped around her husband’s waist and her head resting on his shoulder. Their beaming photo would arise no suspicions, except for the fact that Sarkozy, at 5 feet 5 inches (165cm) tall, appeared to be towering over his supermodel wife, who is some 10cm taller than him.

    Shortly after the latest issue of Paris Match came out, people flocked to social media to ridicule the “tall tales”.

    Some suggested the diminutive ex-president stood on a footstool (he actually did so at a Paris speech back in 2009) or used shoe lifts. Needless to say, the memes were in abundance.

    The following day, Paris Match stepped in to reassure the naysayers that the photo hadn’t been retouched for Sarkozy to appear taller.

    In fact, the magazine said the couple were photographed on the steps of their home in June, and in the image chosen for the cover Sarkozy was standing one step higher that his wife.

    The former president, 64, has recently published a memoir entitled "Passions”, which focuses on the early years of his political career and his rise to power.

    The release of the book last month ignited talk of a Sarkozy comeback to the political arena, as his centre-right party, Les Republicains, gained just 8.5 per cent of the vote in the European elections – their worst result in the history of the elections.

    But Sarkozy was quick to dispel the rumours:

    "The book is a political one, it does not announce my return," he said. "I neither want nor can get involved in a partisan debate. That would sew confusion and division. There is no need for that. It would be misplaced."

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