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Hearing about Hollande's affair felt like a skyscraper plunge, says ex first lady

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French President Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: Reuters

The former first lady of France, Valerie Trierweiler, said she felt as if she had plunged from a skyscraper when President Francois Hollande told her of his affair with an actress.

Ms Trierweiler, from whom Mr Hollande announced his separation last Saturday, told the glossy magazine Paris Match that she had been aware of rumours about an affair, but that having them confirmed by her partner of seven years was a shock.

 

"I had heard rumours, obviously, but you hear them about everyone," said Ms Trierweiler.

"When I found out, it's like I fell off a skyscraper."

Ms Trierweiler gave the interview to Paris Match, for which she works as a columnist, during a humanitarian visit this week to Mumbai.

The India trip was her first public appearance after spending eight days in hospital and a week in seclusion following publication by the tabloid Closer of photos which it said showed Mr Hollande (59) making nocturnal visits to the apartment of 41-year-old French actress Julie Gayet.

The photos – and Mr Hollande's initial refusal to talk about his private life – provoked questions on Ms Trierweiler's position.

Mr Hollande's announcement last Saturday put an end to the uncertainty and to Ms Trierweiler's role which she had assumed after his election victory in May 2012.

As first lady, she maintained an office and staff at the presidential palace with a budget of roughly €20,000 amonth.

The night before the photos were published, Mr Hollande saw Ms Trierweiler and they spent a long night "talking, without eating or sleeping", she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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