London, Jan 29 : French Justice Minister Rachida Dati was reduced to "floods of tears" when President Nicolas Sarkozy sacked her three weeks after she gave birth, according to reports.
The 43-year-old controversial figure rushed back to her desk five days after a C-section in the hope of clinging on to her post, reports the Scotsman.
But two weeks later, Sarkozy "bullied" her into quitting to stand as an MEP, according to France''s satirical Canard Enchaine newspaper.
She is said to have collapsed in tears as he told her: "If you want to remain my friend, then you have no choice. Either you leave with nothing, or you leave to become an MEP. It''s up to you."
Dati, who sparked a guessing game after refusing to name the father of her daughter, Zohra, fuelling speculation that he may be a high-profile figure - is said to have replied bitterly: "If I understand you properly, I don''t have any choice."
The newspaper reported that Sarkozy called the minister into his office last week and told her: "Trust me, I''ve treated you well. Do what I say and in one year you''ll come back to the government through main entrance."
Dati complained that if she became an MEP she would have child-care problems, as she would be away from Paris for four days a week.
The newspaper added: "The whole conversation reduced Miss Dati to a flood of tears. She was very upset by the entire incident." (ANI)