The Straits Times
Published on Oct 02, 2012

French tycoon says he's target of paternity suit by ex-minister Dati


PARIS, (AFP) - French former justice minister Rachida Dati has sought legal action to get hotel tycoon Dominique Desseigne to acknowledge paternity of her daughter, Mr Desseigne's office said on Tuesday.

But Ms Dati, currently a member of the European Parliament, denied the claim, telling AFP: "It's false." The Lucien Barriere group, which Mr Desseigne heads, made a statement through its spokesman saying Ms Dati had made a legal bid for "recognition of paternity" for her daughter Zora, born on Jan 2, 2009.

Ms Dati had kept the identity of the father a secret, sparking a French guessing game that prompted Spain's former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar to formally deny paternity in a bid to squash rumours. The others who figured in the frenzied speculation included a top Qatari official, a prominent French TV host, a leading Paris businessman and Mr Desseigne.

Mr Desseigne's chain includes 37 casinos, 15 luxury hotels and nearly 130 restaurants and bars, including the famed Parisian restaurant Fouquet