The Elysee Palace officially confirmed on Thursday that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia were "divorcing by mutual consent," following reports Wednesday from the country's LCI television that the Sarkozys had launched divorce proceedings.
"Be aware public life does not suit me," she said in an interview with L'Est Republicain newspaper, adding that she likes "shadows, serenity and tranquility."
"I had a husband who was a public figure. I have always known that, I have accompanied him for 20 years. His fight secured him the place, where I believe he is great, because he is a statesman, a man who is capable of doing a lot for France and the French people," Sarkozy's wife told the newspaper.
"One day you no longer have your place," Cecilia said adding that the French had "elected a president, not a couple."
Cecilia said that after a temporary separation in 2005, the couple, that married in October 1996, and have a 10-year-son son, Louis, failed to restore their relationship.
In May 2005, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin revealed that Cecilia had left Sarkozy for his friend, French-Moroccan national Richard Attias, who heads the Publicis Events Worldwide agency in New York. Although Sarkozy later sued the paper, there were also widespread rumors that he himself had had an affair with a female journalist.