Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

French Minister Dati Sacked Three Weeks after Having a Baby; Speculation: Rachida Dati on Her Way to the Office Five Days after Giving Birth and Left, with Her Daughter. Far Left, President Sarkozy and Wife Carla

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

French Minister Dati Sacked Three Weeks after Having a Baby; Speculation: Rachida Dati on Her Way to the Office Five Days after Giving Birth and Left, with Her Daughter. Far Left, President Sarkozy and Wife Carla

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER ALLEN

FRENCH justice minister Rachida Dati was sacked today from Nicolas Sarkozy's government 21 days after giving birth.

The 43-year-old caused a sensation when she returned to work only five days after the birth of daughter Zohra on 2 January.

Many feminist groups said the single mother had been "bullied" by Mr Sarkozy, who was disappointed by her poor showing at the key department.

Today she confirmed she was to "resign", becoming number two on a list of UMP party members hoping to stand for the European Parliament.

The demotion follows speculation about the parentage of Zohra, with mischievous suggestions the president himself may have been a possible father.

The identity of the baby's father is still the subject of much speculation in France. Insisting she has a "complicated private life", Ms Dati was regularly questioned about the subject, but always said "no comment". There was also speculation she could have used a sperm bank at a clinic in Copenhagen during a private trip to Denmark.

Sarkozy made her France's first minister of North African origin in May 2007, celebrating her against-the-odds success story as the second of 12 children born to a Moroccan labourer and illiterate Algerian mother, hailing her as the new face of France.

But Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was among those said to be furious at suggestions of a romantic link with her husband.

Miss Dati even accompanied Sarkozy on a family holiday to America in 2007.

At the time there were reports that the head of state had romantic links with his minister, whom he calls "ma beurette" - or "my little Arab girl".

At the end of 2007 Miss Dati was firmly linked to the president after he divorced his second wife. But within a few months the president had met Ms Bruni, had a whirlwind romance and the couple married in February 2008. …

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