Tuesday 20 March 2018

Hollande book sparks legal action

President Francois Hollande. Photo: Reuters
President Francois Hollande. Photo: Reuters

Henry Samuel Paris

The author of a biography alleging that Valerie Trierweiler was having a relationship with both Francois Hollande and a former right-wing minister said yesterday that France must end its "don't ask, don't tell" approach to politics.

Christophe Jakubyszyn's call came as Patrick Devedjian (68), a married former economic recovery minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's government, joined Ms Trierweiler in announcing that he would press for charges of defamation and invasion of privacy over the claims.

'La Frondeuse' ('The Troublemaker') has provoked a media firestorm in France.

The biography alleges that Mr Devedjian had an "intimate relationship lasting several years" with Ms Trierweiler (47) and that she started seeing Mr Hollande (58) when Mr Devedjian refused to leave his wife of 30 years.

Mr Hollande was at the time living with Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children and a senior Socialist politician in her own right.

Mr Devedjian's lawyer said he had decided to press for charges, saying he "condemns the author's claims".

Defending the biography, Mr Jakubyszyn, co-author and political editor of TF1, France's top news channel, said: "We are casting no moral judgments, nor are the French. We live in a modern society and who would cast the first stone in this type of situation?"

But he said the book was an "honest investigation" that had to mention its subject's private life as "we wanted to underline the overbearing closeness between politicians and political journalists that is very widespread in France. Valerie Trierweiler is symbolic of that generation".

At the time of the alleged three-way relationship in the early 2000s, Ms Trierweiler was a political journalist for 'Paris Match', the weekly glossy magazine, as was her then-husband Denis. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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