London: Carla Bruni has dismissed the accusation as `unthinkable` that her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, took advantage of the mental weakness of an elderly billionaire to finance his rise to power.
In a flurry of interviews to publicise a new pop album, Bruni choked back tears when asked about the decision by a judge last week to start a criminal investigation of the former president for `abuse of weakness`.
According to the Independent, asked in an interview for RTL radio whether she thought her husband was being `persecuted`, Bruni replied that it is simply unimaginable that he could have abused the frailty of a woman `who is the same age as his mother.`
Sarkozy had been `mis en examen`, or formally accused of badgering Liliane Bettencourt, the chief shareholder of the cosmetics giant L`Oreal, for illegal campaign funds in February 2007.
Bettencourt was 84 at the time and suffering from a form of Alzheimer`s.
He has dismissed the accusations as "unfounded" in a statement on his Facebook page this week. His lawyer has started a legal action to quash the investigation.