France’s first female justice minister was seeing up to eight boyfriends at around the time she had a love child, it was claimed yesterday.
Revelations about Rachida Dati’s extraordinarily busy love life have emerged in a bitter row about the paternity of the 47-year-old’s daughter.
Multi-millionaire businessman Dominique Desseigne, 68, is refusing to take a DNA test after being accused of being the girl’s father.
Dati has gone to court to try and get him to admit that he fathered Zohra, now three, during a passionate encounter in 2008.
But Desseigne tells this weekend’s M, the Le Monde magazine, that he was one of many who had an ‘adventure’ with Dati, and that he ‘does not know’ if he is Zohra’s father. Moreover, his lawyers have suggested in written evidence that she was involved in ‘up to eight relationships’
at the time.
These included ‘a TV host, a minister, a chief executive office, a Spanish prime minister, a brother of Nicolas Sarkozy, a Qatari Attorney General and the heir to a luxury goods empire,’ says the M article.
Desseigne has now refused an application made by Dati at a court in Versailles, near Paris, to submit to a test, M reveals.
According to French law, anybody approached for a test can say no, although Dati is said to have other proof, including sworn statements from her staff that Desseigne constantly visited ‘their’
child soon after she was born.
Those suspected of being Zohra’s father in the past have included a range of public figures, ranging from former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Anzar to former French president Sarkozy.
Dati, a notorious self-publicist, encouraged the speculation in a range of interviews in magazines like Paris Match, in which she also appeared in glamorous photo shoots.
The latest revelations will further the reputation of French politicians, and other public figures, as philandering adulterers who never stop having illicit sex.
Last month it emerged that Valerie Trierweiler, the current first lady, was at one stage the mistress of both Francois Hollande, the future Socialist president, and Patrick Devedjiana, conservative minister.
All three involved, including Trierweiler, were married or in long term relationships at the time.
Dati, who comes from a North African immigrant background and who has one failed marriage behind her, has been single since her early 20s. She became the star of Sarkozy’s ethnically diverse ‘rainbow cabinet’ in 2007 in an attempt to get minorities into government, but was unceremoniously sacked in 2009 when it was claimed she was not up to the job.
Desseigne, who is worth more than £500 million, was a close business ally of the Sarkozy.The former president famously celebrated his election win in Le Fouquet’s, a chic restaurant on the Champs Elysee which Desseigne owns.
Desseigne has two grown up children from his marriage to his late wife Diane Barriere-Desseigne, who died in 2001.
Dati’s lawyer, Marie-Christine Guillot-Bouhours, today declined to comment on the case.