Cécilia Sarkozy (born as Cecilia María Sara Isabel Ciganer, later Ciganer-Albéniz, born November 12, 1957 in Boulogne-Billancourt) is the wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Of Romanian Rom and Russian Jewish origins, her father, André Ciganer (né Aron Chouganov), moved from Odessa to Paris, where he became a successful furrier. He was very good friend with famous French writer Joseph Kessel. Her Spanish-Belgian mother, Teresita "Diane" Albéniz de Swert, was a daughter of Alfonso Albéniz Jordana, a Spanish diplomat who played with Real Madrid in the early 1900s, and a granddaughter of the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz i Pascual.
She has three older brothers. Patrick is the program executive officer of the Interative Financial Management Program of NASA. Christian is a consultant (Framatome, AXA, Lagardère, Crédit Foncier, Accor, Aurel Conseil...). Ivan Antoine is sales director of movistar Peru and the commercial advisor and president of the Franco-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce. Patrick uses the surname Ciganer, and Christian and Ivan Antoine use Ciganer-Albéniz, as does their sister, who adopted the surname Ciganer-Albéniz in 1979, according to Un pouvoir nommé désir, a biography of Nicolas Sarkozy by Catherine Nay (Grasset 2007).
When she was a child, she suffered from cardiac problems which hampered her growth. She underwent open cardiac surgery when she was 13, and she made up quickly for her growth delay. She is now 1.78 m tall (5 ft. 10).
She studied piano (first prize in piano at Conservatoire), and obtained a baccalauréat B, after studying for 13 years in a French religious institution, Sœurs de Lübeck. She studied law in University of Paris II: Panthéon-Assas. At that time she was living on small jobs, in communication, and even modeling for Schiaparelli, at night. She then dropped law school and became parliamentary assistant to René Touzet (senator from Indre, democrat left), a friend of her brother.
She married the popular French TV host Jacques Martin, on 10 August 1984. Her wedding witness was Conrada de la Brosse, the wife of François de la Brosse. The wedding took place in Neuilly-sur-Seine and Nicolas Sarkozy, mayor of Neuilly, conducted the wedding. The Martins had two daughters, Judith Martin (born 22 August 1984) and Jeanne-Marie Martin (born 8 June 1987).
Nicolas Sarkozy, who fell in love with the bride during the ceremony, spent the next four years trying to conquer her. She left Martin to live with Sarkozy in 1988, and gained a divorce 1989. Once Sarkozy had himself obtained a divorce in 1996, Cécilia married him in Neuilly on 23 October. The witnesses were Bernard Arnault and Martin Bouygues. Six months later, on 28 April 1997, Cécilia Sarkozy gave birth to the couple's only child, Louis.
In 2005, she embarked on a very public affair with Publicis executive Richard Attias. However, in early 2006, she returned to her husband, who had himself had an affair with a journalist of Le Figaro, Anne Fulda, in the meantime.
When her husband was a Minister, she had an office next to his, but without an official role, except in one instance. In 2004 she was officially listed as technical adviser to her husband when he was Minister of Economy.
Cécilia has no official function in UMP, but she had an office at the campaign headquarters of her husband in 2007.
A censured article in JDD reported that she did not vote during the second round of the 2007 presidential elections.