Francois Hollande made sure doctors kept his spurned ex-girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, drugged on "astronomical" amounts of tranquillisers after their break-up to keep her in hospital and out of his hair, she claims in an explosive book out yesterday.
The accusation, one of many levelled at the French president in Merci Pour Ce Moment (Thank For This Moment), came as allies and even enemies defended the man Miss Trierweiler claims is the "king of doublespeak, ambiguity and permanent lying" and a Leftist who "doesn't like the poor".
Mr Hollande was said to be "devastated" about the book's release, which he knew nothing about.
Penned in revenge over Mr Hollande's split with Miss Trierweiler in January after revelations of his affair with Julie Gayet, the actress, the 320-page tome has shot to the top of the French best-seller list, even beating initial sales of Fifty Shades of Grey in France. She was reportedly paid more than €600,000 for the memoir.
"It seemed to me the only way to take back control of my life was to recount it," she begins.
In barbed purple prose "worthy of Barbara Cartland", according to one critic, Miss Trierweiler lays into almost every aspect of Mr Hollande's character, recounting in graphic detail the highs and lows of their relationship and 18 months in the Elysee Palace. One of the most controversial passages recounts the conditions in which she was kept in hospital for a week after taking sleeping pills in the Elysee bedroom following the break-up.
Despite feeling weak, Miss Trierweiler says she insisted that she wanted to travel to Tulle, Mr Hollande's powerbase in Correze, central France, for his New Year's greetings. The day after mentioning her intention to the president, she says she was "unable to get up".
"Every time I try and put a foot out of the bed, I collapse?...? I only understand why later. The doses of tranquillisers were over-multiplied to stop me going to Tulle," she writes.
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