Putin joins small list of divorced world leaders

09.06.2013 05:33

Vladimir Putin and his wife,
Lyudmila, attend a service,
conducted by the Patriarch
Moscow and All Russia Kirill,
mark the start of his term a
Russia's new president at th
Kremlin in Moscow in this M
2012 file photo.
By Becky Bratu, Staff Writer,
NBC News
When Russian President Vladimir
Putin and his wife
Lyudmila announced Thursday
on Russian TV that their nearly
30-year marriage was over, the
news seemed to confirm the
gossip swirling around for years
-- that Putin and the first lady
had long been leading separate
Susan Walsh / AP
In this Friday June 24, 2004 file
photo, former Italian premie
Silvio Berlusconi and his ex-
Veronica Lario wait for Presi
George W. Bush and first la
Laura Bush at the Villa Mada
residence for a social dinner
“This is true,” Putin said. “All my
activity is to do with publicity,
absolute publicity, and some
people like this, and others do
not. But there are some people
who are absolutely incompatible
with this ... Lyudmila
Alexandrovna has stood by this
post for eight or nine years - so
it's a mutual decision.”
Lyudmila confirmed Putin’s
words, adding: “Our marriage is
over due to the fact that we no
longer see each other.”
The newly single Putin now joins
a small group of world leaders
whose marriages ended during
their tenures.
John Schults / AP
Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife
Cecilia walk together during a
garden party at the Elysee
Palace, as part of Bastille D
celebrations in Paris, in this
14, 2004 file photo.
1. Silvio Berlusconi
Given the former Italian Prime
Minister's fondness for bunga-
bunga parties and barely legal
dancers, it is perhaps no
surprise that his second wife,
Veronica Lario, announced in
2009 she was divorcing the
billionaire media mogul. Once
the divorce was finalized in
2012, Berlusconi was ordered to
pay Lario $4 million a month in
2. Nicolas Sarkozy
The former French president
separated from his wife, Cecilia,
in 2007, but it only took about a
year for the politician to
rebound and marry the
glamorous model and singer
Carla Bruni. Prior to Sarkozy
getting elected, Cecilia had
famously declared: "I don't see
myself as a first lady. It bores
me. I'm not politically correct."
Boris Roessler / ASSOCIATED
Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez Frias smiles during h
visit of the German pavilion
the ground of world exhibiti
Expo 2000 in Hanover, north
Germany, on Saturday, July
2000. Next to Frias stands h
wife Marisabel Rodriguez de
3. Hugo Chavez
The late Venezuelan president
was rumored to have a long list
of romances, but he was only
married -- and subsequently
divorced -- twice. He divorced
his second wife, Venezuelan
radio journalist Marisabel
Rodriguez in 2004, claiming she
had a bad temper. For her part,
Rodriguez blamed Chavez's
affairs for the dissolution of
their marriage.
4. Nelson Mandela
The former president of South
Africa was married to his wife,
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, for
38 years. The two broke it off in
1996, with then President
Mandela accusing his wife of
having had an affair with a
younger man. Mandela
remarried in 1998 at the age of
Debbie Yazbek / Zinc Media
via Reuters
South Africa's former Presid
Nelson Mandela, along with
ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-
Mandela and former membe
the National Reception
Committee, celebrate the
upcoming 20th anniversary
his release from prison in
Johannesburg on Feb. 4, 201
5. Thomas Klestil
The late Austrian president
married Edith in 1967, when
they were both 17. Two years
into his presidency, Klestil
announced he had an affair with
a younger woman. Edith left her
husband, and the two were
finally divorced in 1998. Soon
after, Klestil married his
paramour. When he passed away
while in office in 2004, both
women attended his funeral.
6. Jaime Lusinchi
The former Venezuelan president
and his wife Gladys separated in
1987 while he was still in office.
The divorce was not final until
1991, after Lusinchi had left
power. Setting off a national
controversy, Lusinchi divorced
his wife so and wed a former
private secretary.
Rudi Blaha / AP
Austrian President Thomas
Klestil and his first wife Edit
Klestil attend the Viennese
Opera Ball, on Feb. 18, 1993.
7. Habib Bourguiba
The founder and first president
of the Republic of Tunisia
married his second wife, Wassila
Ben Ammar, in 1961. He was
still in power in 1986, when he
divorced and banished her.
Bourguiba said in a statement he
was divorcing her for violating
the constitution by making
political statements without his