French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler 'making progress' in hospital
France's first lady is making progress in hospital where she has been receiving care following a magazine's report that President Francois Hollande was having a secret affair with an actress.
Valerie Trierweiler was admitted to hospital on January 9 for rest after Closer magazine reported Mr Hollande's alleged affair with actress Julie Gayet. It says he sneaked into an apartment near the presidential palace to meet her.
Ms Trierweiler spokesman Patrice Biancone said the first lady was progressing, saying six days of rest "counts, after all".
Earlier, a Closer representative said Ms Gayet had filed a lawsuit against the magazine for alleged invasion of privacy.
Mr Hollande has expressed "indignation" about the report, but stopped short of saying whether he would sue.John Lichfield
Trierweiler has apparently told friends that she is "deeply hurt" by the President’s failure to visit her at the hospital, according to Europe 1 radio.
She was also reportedly furious that he made a curt comment – "she is resting" – when a journalist asked after her health at a presidential press conference on Tuesday.
Several French news and celebrity magazines published fresh accounts today of an allegedly “blazing row” between Hollande and Trierweiler at the Elysée Palace last Thursday when the President broke the news that Closer magazine was going to reveal his affair with the actress Julie Gayet.
Afterwards, the French First Lady is reported to have taken sleeping pills or some other form of medicine to which she reacted badly.
Friends categorically deny that she took an overdose or attempted suicide. "She simply took one pill to many," a source told the tabloid magazine Le Point.
According to one version of events, it was President Hollande who insisted that she go next day to the La Pitié –Salpatriêre hospital – the hospital where Diana, Princess of Wales died after her car accident in 1997.
According to another magazine, Trierweiler was asked to go into the hospital last Friday morning because she felt "alone and on the brink of a chasm".
Friends who have visited her in hospital say that she is still suffering from “extreme nervous exhaustion.” She has low blood pressure and cannot stand easily.
Julie Gayet Reportedly Blocked From Arts Jury
"She tells some friends that she is determined to fight (to keep Hollande). With others, she appears more resigned," said Europe 1.
At his press conference on Tuesday, President Hollande said that he would make a statement on his relationship with Trierweiler – and whether she would remain the French First Lady – by the start of next month. The couple, who are not married, were due to visit the American first couple in the White House on 11 February.
Le Point today published a long interview with Mr Hollande, conducted last Friday just after the affair had been revealed by Closer. The President did not speak about the allegations directly but referred to "sordid revelations".
Asked if he was capable of carrying on despite his low poll ratings and constant set-backs, he replied: "I’m used to taking blows. I’ve taken them all through my career, right from the start… You can give up and say it’s all too difficult. You can say ‘truce’, wave the white flag, step aside .Or you can stick to it. I’m sticking to it."