Carla Bruni's surprise withdrawal from Italy's San Remo music contest has been blamed on a song in the competition that mocks her husband, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Appropriately for an event that inspired the notoriously political Eurovision Song Contest, the news has caused tongues to wag, set one European nation against another, and possibly laid the groundwork for a minor diplomatic incident.
Ms Bruni's decision to withdraw from the festival, which will run from 16 to 21 February, was revealed by the TV presenter Massimo Giletti on the state channel Rai Uno, which broadcasts the event each year.
"Carla Bruni has decided not to participate in the Festival of San Remo, where she was to have sung with Gino Paoli on the Thursday evening.
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