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France's scorned former first lady to publish kiss-and-tell

03 september 2014, 10:36
0

 France's scorned former first lady Valerie Trierweiler is set to lift the lid on her tumultuous relationship with the president on Thursday in what could prove an explosive memoir, AFP reports.

Trierweiler, a journalist, was dumped unceremoniously by Francois Hollande in January after a magazine revealed his affair with actress Julie Gayet, and has since remained broadly silent about an event she once said had felt like falling "from a skyscraper."

But the 49-year-old had all along been secretly writing a book about her years-long relationship with the Socialist leader, which comes out on Thursday and does not "spare" Hollande, according to parliamentary channel LCP which broke the news.

"Everything I write is true," she writes on the cover of the book, called "Thank You For This Moment" and unveiled in Paris-Match, a glossy magazine for which she used to be a political reporter and still contributes to.

"At the Elysee (presidential palace), I sometimes felt as if I was on a story. And I have suffered too much from lies to tell lies myself."

The 320-page book "is a cry of love as well as a slow descent into hell, a plunge into the intimacy of a couple. Two people and nothing more: Valerie and Francois," the weekly writes.

Les Arenes, the publishing company behind the book, refused to comment when contacted by AFP and Trierweiler herself could not be reached for comment.

The Elysee, meanwhile, said it was "not aware" of the book's publication. "So by definition we have not read this book," a source close to Hollande told AFP.

The glamorous journalist met Hollande in the mid-2000s while he was in a relationship with Segolene Royal -- herself a former presidential candidate -- and the pair began a secret liaison.

Hollande subsequently left Royal, the mother of his four children, for Trierweiler who became the de facto first lady of France after he was elected in 2012, despite the fact the pair were not married.

  Love and despair 

News of his affair with 42-year-old Gayet caused shockwaves in France in January, and Trierweiler was hospitalised for a week after Closer published pictures of Hollande arriving for secret trysts with the actress at a borrowed flat.

Hollande then announced their relationship was over in an 18-word statement that was devoid of regret or remorse for the woman he had described as "the love of my life" in 2010.

"Eighteen words is almost one word for each month we spent together since he was elected," Trierweiler told Le Parisien daily in January, describing herself as "more disappointed than hurt".

According to Paris-Match, this is the first time that a former first lady "really tells the story of nine years of a relationship eroded by jealousy and power... A story of love... and despair."

The weekly -- which publishes extracts of the book in an issue that comes out Wednesday in Paris and Thursday in the rest of France -- describes Trierweiler as a "passionate lover, possessive, mad about this man whom she admires, who makes her laugh and delightfully destabilises her."

The book could prove an embarrassment for Hollande, whose approval ratings are at a record low.

The memoir will not be the first by a former first lady.

Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia Attias, who was a key advisor in his successful 2007 campaign but divorced him soon after, also published an autobiography last year, which sold tens of thousands of copies.

by Myriam CHAPLAIN RIOU


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