PARIS (AP) — France's first lady on Thursday backed an appeal by feminists condemning sexist comments that followed the arrest of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy supported the campaign "Sexism: they (men) lose it and women pay" on her official website.
More than 25,000 people have signed a petition organized by feminist groups condemning "misogynist comments by public figures" after Strauss-Kahn's arrest on charges of attempting to rape a hotel chambermaid.
Several commentators appeared to downplay the seriousness of the allegations or depicted Strauss-Kahn as the real victim — of rough American justice. One politician said the case was being overblown — after all, "nobody died." A prominent writer dismissed the alleged crime with a vulgar expression roughly meaning "getting into the maid's skirts."
Several hundred women and men held a protest against the reaction in Paris on Sunday — some with signs proclaiming: "We are all chambermaids."
Bruni-Sarkozy, 43, is married to French President Nicolas Sarkozy — Strauss-Kahn's political rival — and is also a musician, actor and AIDS activist.
On Thursday, she greeted leaders' spouses at the Group of Eight summit in the Normandy resort of Deauville — showing off a distinct baby bump.
The couple, who married in 2008, has not officially announced the pregnancy, but after weeks of speculation the president's father, Pal Sarkozy, confirmed it last week to a German newspaper.
The president has three sons from his first two marriages, and Bruni-Sarkozy has a 9-year-old son from a previous relationship.
During the two-day G-8 summit, leaders' spouses will attend events for literacy and anti-AIDS groups, causes supported by Bruni-Sarkozy.