London, Mar.20 : Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has re-ignited a row over a text message her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, allegedly sent his ex-wife Cecilia begging her to return a week before marrying his new spouse.
In an article entitled "Stop The Slander" published in Le Monde, France's First Lady said her husband had decided to drop legal action against the magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which published the report.
Carla accused the journalist who wrote it of "making a mockery" of basic press principles by publishing an unchecked "rumour".
Last month, the President filed libel charges against the magazine for having stated on its website that: "Eight days before his wedding (to Mrs Sarkozy-Bruni), the President sent an SMS to his ex-wife in the form of an ultimatum: 'If you come back, he wrote, I'll cancel everything.' He had no response."
His ex-wife, Cecilia, told French police that she had never received any such message, but the magazine and its journalist stand by their story.
The article, according to Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy, violated the magazine's own charter of good practice, which stipulates that "the aim of articles is to present the facts to readers with the utmost rigour and honesty."
According to The Telegraph, Sarkozy's original decision to sue Nouvel Obs was not an attack on the freedom of the press, but on "the right to say and write any old rubbish".
The journalist in question, Airy Routier, confirmed that he has written a personal apology to Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy for "hurting her feelings", but said that he stands by what he wrote 100 per cent.
Assistant Editor Guillaume Malaurie said he had "not invented (the information) and has extraordinarily reliable sources".
To counter such web attacks, Sarkozy this week recruited a 24-year old "cyber spin doctor".
Nicolas Princen, a graduate from one of France's top universities, will act as "a sort of Internet early warning system, surveying everything that is making a buzz regarding the President", in order to alert his advisers and prepare a response before irreversible damage is done.