Mary-Kate Olsen is back in the dating game, and this time it's with a much older man.
Her new flame is Olivier Sarkozy, the younger half-brother of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France who just lost an election to Francois Hollande. The two reportedly began dating in April. A source told the New York Post that the two are head over heels for each other and that they spent Memorial Day in the Hamptons together.
Sarkozy looks much older than Olsen -- and bears a striking resemblance to Italian actor Roberto Benigni -- but their age difference doesn't exactly make for a May-December romance. Sarkozy is 42. She's 25. This puts them in a similar age-difference category as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who were 44 and 27, respectively, when they tied the knot in 2006 (baby Suri had already made her debut by then).
Age gaps aside, Sarkozy is very different from Olsen's past flames. For one thing, he's a successful and wealthy businessman in his own right. He is currently the managing director of the global asset management firm the Carlyle Group, according to a People report. He has been involved in major banking transactions around the globe, according to a 2007 Forbes report.
Forbes also reported that Sarkozy goes by Oliver, has an American accent, and got his bachelor's degree in medeival history from Scotland's University of St. Andrews. He has dual American and French citizenship, New York Magazine reported in 2007.
Olsen's old flames include Maxwell Snow, the younger brother of the late New York artist Dash Snow. They dated for a few months, starting in 2006 and ending in 2007 (art fans know that the older Snow died in 2009 of a drug overdose at the age of 27). She dated another artist, Nate Lowman, from 2008 to 2010, People reported.
Before Snow, Olsen dated Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III, who was one year older than her (and who went on to briefly date Paris Hilton after he and Olsen broke up). Olsen was also linked to David Katzenberg, the son of a DreamWorks executive (Katzenberg later moved on to another Hilton sister, Nicky).
Sarkozy wasn't on the market for very long before he took up with Olsen. He was most recently linked to actress and poet Stella Schnabel, according to a People report. They broke up in March, the New York Post reported. Before that, he was married to French writer Charlotte Bernard, with whom he has two children.
How his romance will pan out with Olsen remains to be seen. A CeleBitchy.com report doesn't suggest high hopes for the couple, pointing to Sarkozy's jealous ex-wife and his alleged womanizing history as factors. There are also reported concerns among those close to Olsen, including her twin sister, Ashley, that Sarkozy could interfere with business. The website pointed to a Star report, in which an unnamed source reportedly told the tabloid that Sarkozy wants to control the younger woman and that she hasn't been herself since meeting him.
When she hasn't been canoodling with artists or the sons of rich men, Olsen has been immersed in the fashion empire she's created with her sister.
The two just won the Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, beating out veteran designer Marc Jacobs, among others, for the prestigious honor.
The two sisters have clearly come a long way since their days as child stars.
Mary-Kate Olsen, who famously sought treatment for anorexia nervosa in 2004, seems to have mixed feelings about her childhood, one that brought her and her twin sister an immense fortune. Not only did the two star in the popular family sitcom Full House, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner, but they also starred in a long line of kid-friendly movies, including the 1995 comedy It Takes Two, 1999's Passport to Paris, and the 2004 flop New York Minute (after which her twin said goodbye to acting).
I look at old photos of me, and I don't feel connected to them at all, she told Marie Claire in 2010. I would never wish my upbringing on anyone... but I wouldn't take it back for the world.
Now that she's a grown woman with a new career, do you think that Olsen and Sarkozy have something deep going on? Or will this just be another flash in the pan?