- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PARIS (AP) - France’s first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy said Tuesday she will not attend the Cannes film festival for “personal and professional” reasons but refused to say whether her absence means she is pregnant as French media have suggested.

Bruni-Sarkozy has every reason to be present at Cannes’ opening Wednesday: the Woody Allen movie that she plays in, “Midnight in Paris,” kicks off the festival.

The former supermodel and songstress confirmed in an RTL radio interview that she won’t be there, saying “I really regret it” but “I unfortunately can’t do it for personal and also for professional reasons.”

French media have speculated that Bruni-Sarkozy may be pregnant, but she has declined to discuss the issue.

“It’s a private question,” she said when asked in the RTL interview whether she is expecting a child. “I have to protect my private life, my family life as much as possible.”

A pregnancy could potentially improve the plummeting popularity of her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ahead of next year’s election. A child might soften the brash image of the conservative president and add a touch of the traditional to the first couple.

Sarkozy has three sons from two previous marriages and Bruni-Sarkozy also has a son. They have been married for three years.

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