Aoife Drew: Now it's president's turn as 'jilted lover'
Francois Hollande has been dumped by his younger girlfriend. Quelle dommage.
Just when France was taking a breather from president Francois Hollande's soap-opera love life (unfortunately those of us living here never get a break from his politics), another twist in the tale has emerged. Despite his very public break-up with Valerie Trierweiler in January of this year, owing to his affair with actress Julie Gayet, almost 20 years his junior, it's now being reported that Gayet has left Hollande.
Gayet is said to have been frustrated with trying to maintain a romance in the public eye. Now that the days of their romantic trysts in her pied-a-terre near the Elysee Palace are over and Hollande is no longer free to hop on his scooter and pay her secret visits, it's more difficult for them both to conduct a relationship under the constant glare of the paparazzi.
She has complained that her two teenage sons suffered from the intrusion into their lives. Her career also took a nosedive. She had been nominated last December as a jury member of the prestigious Villa Medici, the Academy of France based in Rome, which awards cultural scholarships in painting, sculpture, film and architecture, and Gayet would have been on the committee that decides who the fellowships are awarded to. But the Minister of Culture blocked the nomination, saying Gayet was "completely competent to be a member of the jury . . . but it was not helpful to add another controversial issue". In France there is no doubt that she is now far better known as Hollande's love interest, than for any of her films.