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LONDON (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday he did not have half a second to lose on media speculation about the state of his marriage to supermodel-turned-popstar Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Rumors have swept the Internet and the British press this week that Sarkozy and Bruni, who married in 2008 after a whirlwind romance, were having extra-marital affairs. Bruni has said her husband would never cheat on her.
Asked by a French journalist to comment on the rumors during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London, Sarkozy looked distinctly unimpressed.
"You clearly don't know how busy a president of the republic is, but I don't have a second to lose with this kind of ridiculous rubbish -- not even half a second," he said.
"I'm even wondering why you are wasting your time asking me such a question."
Brown, who in recent weeks has been forced to deny a barrage of media reports alleging that he had bullied his staff, came to Sarkozy's rescue.
"I've been able to tell Nicolas that I don't believe everything I read in the British press," he joked, eliciting a smile from the French president and a chuckle from reporters.
Sarkozy then sought to close the discussion.
"I love England, please don't make me regret it," he said.
Undeterred, one of the British journalists raised the issue again, asking Sarkozy whether he wished to seize the opportunity to deny the rumors. A stony-faced Sarkozy ignored the question completely, and Brown hastily ushered his guest out of the room.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Jon Hemming