Philippe Douste-Blazy, 53, a dapper former cardiologist appointed French foreign minister, has provided a few moments of levity to protest-weary Parisians.
The minister's most recent embarrassment involves events on New Year's Eve when he was staying with Dominique Cantien at La Mamounia, a luxury hotel in Marrakesh.
Yazid Sabeg, a French businessman, had expected to dine with Douste-Blazy and Cantien, a television producer.
"We went to collect them," said Sabeg, "but they were in the middle of a dispute."
Witnesses said hostilities erupted early in the evening and raged until 1 a.m. At one point, a scantily clad Douste-Blazy was spotted hiding in the hallway, The Sunday Times of London reported.
Le Canard EnchaĆ®ne, a satirical but generally reliable newspaper, reported that the hotel room sustained $35,000 worth of damage.
Douste-Blazy denied the damage report and dismissed the disagreement as "a simple domestic quarrel of the kind all passionate couples go through."
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