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Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
Thibault Camus  /  AP
French President's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is seen prior to a television interview, in Paris, Monday, May 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, pool)
updated 5/18/2011 5:13:14 PM ET 2011-05-18T21:13:14

The expectant granddad has spilled the beans: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is pregnant.

Germany's top-selling newspaper on Tuesday quoted President Nicolas Sarkozy's father as saying that the first lady is having a baby. And one of her predecessors says a child at the presidential palace will be wonderful for the whole country.

"It's wonderful news to see this baby coming. It's a chance for France, absolutely," Bernadette Chirac, wife of ex-French President Jacques Chirac, told reporters in Paris on Tuesday at an event for a literacy foundation hosted by Bruni-Sarkozy.

"And a birth, it's a wonderful event for a family, the arrival of a child. There is nothing nicer. A baby at the Elysee, yes. It's wonderful for them and for all the French people," Chirac said.

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Bruni-Sarkozy, also attending the event, wouldn't respond to questions by The Associated Press about the pregnancy. Sarkozy's office also refused all comment.

Germany's Bild newspaper quoted Pal Sarkozy as saying: "Neither wants to know the gender beforehand, but I'm certain it will be a girl, and beautiful like Carla."

Slideshow: The faces of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (on this page)

A pregnancy could be a potential strategic coup for Sarkozy, less than a year ahead of presidential elections. The incumbent's popularity is in the doldrums, but a baby in the Elysee Palace could help voters relate to a man they have seen as increasingly out of touch with their worries.

Reports of her pregnancy first surfaced in late April, when gossip magazine Closer ran a story saying the 43-year-old first lady was three months pregnant. The magazine said that officials were keeping it under wraps because her age makes it a high-risk pregnancy.

Bruni-Sarkozy and Sarkozy married in early 2008 — less than a year after he took office. She has a son from an earlier relationship, and Sarkozy has three sons from his two previous marriages.

She has made no bones about her desire for another child: in 2009, Bruni-Sarkozy conceded in a published interview that she would adopt one if she were not able to have one with her husband.

The speculation has been rising in recent weeks that she was pregnant. Since France's Fifth Republic began in 1958, no president has fathered — they've all been men — a child while in office.

On Monday, at the end of a French television interview with Bruni-Sarkozy about her foundation against illiteracy, host Jean-Pierre Pernaud said: "I know you hate talking about your private life, but I want to simply congratulate you."

Bruni-Sarkozy responded with a big smile: "I congratulate you, too!"

From a wealthy family from the Italian city of Turin, Bruni-Sarkozy had a successful career as a model before becoming a singer-songwriter, known for her soulful lyrics and wispy voice. She's also known for her topsy-turvy romantic life, which included relationships with the likes of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: The faces of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

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  1. Carla Bruni

    Carla Bruni, the wife of former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, has been called a heartbreaker, a style icon and even a muse. The stunning singer and former model, who has represented the likes of Dior and Chanel, continues to make headlines.

    Carla Bruni performs for Matt Lauer on TODAY on April 24. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Cuddle up

    Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sits on a bench with his wife after voting at a polling station in the first round in the French mayoral elections in Paris on March 23, 2014. (Benoit Tessier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Little French Songs

    Carla performs during a concert at Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich, Germany on March 15, 2014. (Tobias Hase / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. All smiles

    Bruni-Sarkozy arrives for the 2013 Echo Music Awards in Berlin, Germany, March 21, 2013. (Britta Pedersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Making music

    Carla performs during the 63rd edition of the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy on Feb. 13, 2013. (Ettore Ferrari / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Handover ceremony

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave the Elysee Palace after the formal investiture ceremony between France's president Francois Hollande and his sucessor on May 15, 2012 in Paris. (Patrick Kovarik / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. In with the new

    French President-elect Francois Hollande's companion Valerie Trierweiler, right, shakes hands with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy before the presidential handover ceremony, on May 15, 2012 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Jacques Brinon / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Casting a vote

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy at a polling station to cast his vote during the second round of the 2012 French Presidential election at Lycee Jean De La Fontaine on May 6, 2012 in Paris, France. (Francois Durand / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Expecting

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy waves to visitors in the gardens of the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on Sept. 17, 2011, during France's Day of Patrimony. For two days a year in Paris and the rest of France, thousands of monuments, government buidings and privately owned sites of interest open their doors to the public at the Day of Patrimony. (Jacques Brinon / pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Waiting

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy waits for the spouses of the Heads of Delegation participating in the G8 Summit on May 26, 2011 in Deauville, France. (Franck Prevel / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. All smiles

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy meets children as she visits a book fair on Mar. 18, 2011 in Paris. (Lionel Bonaventure) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Sitting pretty

    Benin President Thomas Yayi Boni speaks with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on Jan. 26, 2010 at the presidential palace in Cotonou. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was on a two day visit dedicated to the fight against the HIV-Aids virus. (Eric Feferberg / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Seeing stars

    Director Woody Allen talks with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Owen Wilson on July 28, 2010 in Paris during the shooting of Allen's latest movie "Midnight in Paris". Despite a starry cast including Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and and Kathy Bates, pre-publicity for "Midnight in Paris" has focused on the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's big screen debut. (Bertrand Langlois / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Hitting notes

    Carla Bruni and Dave Stewart perform at Radio City Music Hall July 18, 2009 for a 91st birthday concert for Nelson Mandela. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Laughing it up

    President Barack Obama laughs with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Michelle Obama at the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg April 3, 2009. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance is celebrating its 60th anniversary this week at a summit co-hosted by Germany and France. (Jason Reed / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Solemn occasion

    French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Britain's Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, leave the Douaumont memorial Tuesday in Verdun, France, following Nov. 11, 2008 ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Battle of Verdun in 1916 was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. (Gerard Cerles / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. They’ll take Manhattan

    During his September 2008 trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, French president Nicolas Sarkozy (far left) and Carla Bruni became just two more joggers taking their exercise amid midtown traffic. (Eric Feferberg / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Papal visit

    Pope Benedict XVI waved to the public from the Elysee Palace in Paris, where he was welcomed by president Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni Sarkozy in Sept. 2008. The German-born pontiff was on a four-day visit to France marking the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes. (Christophe Karaba / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Hello, Dalai

    In Aug. 2008, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy joined the Dalai Lama at the inauguration of Lerab Ling Buddhist temple at Roqueredonde, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader consecrated the temple during his 12 day-visit to France. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The attraction

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy arrive at the Elysee palace after the annual Bastille Day military parade. The steamy details of their whirlwind romance captivated both the paparazzi and the public and became the subject of a book. "It all happened suddenly. I wasn't expecting someone so funny, so full of life. I was seduced by his physique and his intelligence," Bruni told the authors of "Carla and Nicolas, the True Story." (Benoit Tessier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Marriage and music

    During an interview on French TV, Bruni said that she was "hurt" by frosty reactions to her new album. "If people don't listen because I married the president of the republic, I understand," she said. "If they do listen because I married the president of the republic, I will be delighted. And if people ... like it, that is what counts for me." (Olivier Laban-Mattei / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. First lady

    President Sarkozy and Bruni married on Feb. 2, 2008 in a 20-minute civil ceremony in the presidential office of the Elysee Palace in Paris, giving Bruni the title of first lady of France. Since then, she has attended many political events. Here she is with Queen Elizabeth II during welcoming ceremonies at Windsor Castle. (Kieran Doherty / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Presidential liaison

    Bruni and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met at a semi-political dinner party in Nov. 2007. Just three months after Sarkozy divorced his wife, he and Bruni became a couple. The two reportedly were engaged on Christmas Day, 2007. That same month they visited the Pyramids while Sarkozy was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Love vs. desire

    At the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Bruni, who was born in Turin, carried the Italian flag. In 2007, Bruni told French magazine Le Figaro Madame that "love lasts a long time, but burning desire -- two to three weeks," and that she found monogamy boring. (Franck Fife / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The sound of music

    In 1997, Bruni decided to pursue a music career. Six years later, she released her first album of vocals and acoustic guitar, titled “Quelqu’un m’a dit” (Someone Told Me). The album was produced by one of her ex-lovers, Louis Bertignac. It sold over a million copies in France, and another 300,000 copies elsewhere. Bruni was also awarded the French equivalent of a Grammy for best female vocalist. Her second album was released in early 2007. In total, she has sold two million records. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Runway beauty

    Italian model Carla Bruni shows a pink evening gown designed by Gianni Versace for the Haute-Couture 1996 Spring/Summer collection in Paris. (Gerard Julien / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Behind the runway

    Bruni, the daughter of a wealthy Italian tire manufacturer, became a model while in her teens. She began her career with City Models in Paris, and soon became a staple with couture fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino as well as in perfume ads for GUESS. Here she is in 1993, behind the scenes at the showing of Valentino's spring-summer collection. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Femme fatale

    Bruni was one of the highest-paid supermodels in 1990, but that wasn't the only reason she was a household name. In her 20s, Bruni had an affair with Mick Jagger, allegedly breaking up his marriage. In addition, she has been romantically linked to Kevin Costner, Eric Clapton and Donald Trump. In 2001, while the femme fatale was living with her lover, writer Jean-Paul Enthoven, she began an affair with his son, Raphael, and soon had a child with him. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
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