Heiress' Accountant Claims Cash Destined For Sarkozy

"French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke out Tuesday after being linked to alleged illegal payments from France's richest woman, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. ""I would so like it if the country could be passionate about the big problems such as health, pensions, or how we can create growth, instead of getting involved with the first slanderous horror which has only one goal: to bring people down without any element of truth,"" Sarkozy told reporters. Sarkozy spoke after a French investigative website, Mediapart, published an interview Tuesday with a former Bettencourt accountant identified only as ""Claire T."" She said she prepared envelopes of cash that were to be given to both Sarkozy and current Labor Minister Eric Woerth, who previously worked in the Budget Ministry and was in charge of reforms to France's retirement system. Allegations of payments to Woerth emerged from secret recordings allegedly made by Bettencourt's butler and now being considered as potential evidence in a fraud case involving the heiress. "