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Sarkozy Defends Minister for Sex Vacation

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French president Nicolas Sarkozy is defending his foreign minister, who is facing calls to resign after he revealed paying for sex with boys in Thailand.

Frederic Mitterrand's past resurfaced after he became a vocal advocate for filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland and faces possible extradition to the United States for statutory rape charges he fled in 1977.

An adviser for Sarkozy told France 2 television that the "French political debate sometimes takes on a pathetic form. It's excessive and quite undignified." Adviser Henri Guaino added, in reference to whether Mitterrand should resign, "When there is a controversy as pathetic as this, with so much delay, I don't think there should be such drastic consequences."

Mitterrand, who is openly gay, wrote in his 2005 book, La Mauvaise Vie, about having engaged with prostitutes despite "the sordid details of this traffic," reports Reuters.

"I got into the habit of paying for boys," Mitterrand wrote. "All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously ... the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire."

He is expected to appear on French television on Thursday night to defend himself.

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