Former minister Dati to sue French weekly over 'gossip'
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Former justice minister Rachida Dati said Friday that she will sue French weekly Le Point for printing "malicious gossip" about her private life. Dati awaits a Dec. 4 ruling on whether she can compel a hotelier to accept paternity of her daughter.
Rachida Dati, a former French justice minister alleged to have had eight lovers around the time she fell pregnant in 2008, said Friday she was suing a magazine editor for slander.
She told RTL radio that she planned to sue Franz-Olivier Giesbert, the director of the weekly Le Point, for an article titled "The Incredible Tale of Rachida Dati" which she said was full of "malicious gossip and calumny".
Giesbert told AFP that he awaited the lawsuit "with a cool head and a little irony", adding that "often lawsuits announced on the radio are not followed up or are withdrawn".
Dati, 46, a glamorous protege of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, will discover next month if she has won her legal bid to have a hotel tycoon recognised as the father of her daughter.
She issued a writ aimed at making Dominique Desseigne accept paternity of three-year-old Zohra in the latest case to cast light on the hitherto taboo sexual antics of France's political elite.
The writ was considered at a court hearing on Tuesday and the judge will issue a ruling on December 4.
Desseigne, 68, the chairman-CEO of the upmarket Lucien Barriere casino, hotel and restaurant group, has confirmed that he had a brief fling with Dati but has refused to take a paternity test.
Under French law, the court cannot force Desseigne to have a paternity test but can interpret a refusal as confirming he is the father.
According to Le Monde's weekend magazine, Desseigne's lawyer intended to argue that his client could not have been the father and to highlight the fact that Dati had seven other lovers around the time of conception.
They allegedly included a television presenter, a government minister, a company chairman, a former Spanish prime minister, one of Sarkozy's brothers and a former attorney general of Qatar.