Francois Hollande has finally gone to visit his First Lady in hospital – a week after revelations about his affair with an actress caused her to take ‘a pill too many’. The 59-year-old President of France slipped into see Valerie Trierweiler, 48, under conditions of great secrecy on Friday morning. His visit to the central [...]

Sunday Times 2

A very French Affair

Finally! President Hollande visits his First Lady in hospital as his mistress is forced to deny claims she is pregnant

Francois Hollande has finally gone to visit his First Lady in hospital – a week after revelations about his affair with an actress caused her to take ‘a pill too many’.

The 59-year-old President of France slipped into see Valerie Trierweiler, 48, under conditions of great secrecy on Friday morning.

Options: Hollande at a press conference where he said he would make his mind up about who his first lady was by February 11. Reuters

His visit to the central Paris hospital came exactly a week after she first learned that Closer magazine was about to publish pictures of him leaving a love nest in the French capital.

He had been using it and at least two other properties to carry out a relationship with Julie Gayet, 41, since 2011, the magazine claimed.

After being accused of being cruel and heartless in his treatment of Miss Trierweiler, Mr Hollande’s aides finally confirmed that he had now ‘seen her in person’.

Up until Thursday, the pair had been communicating through text messages and the odd phone call, the aide added.
It came after his mistress phoned a Paris radio station and insisted: ‘I’m not pregnant’.

Media around the world had reported that Miss Gayet was four months pregnant following numerous secret trysts with the portly Socialist around Paris and the south of France.

Miss Gayet, normally a high-profile film actress, has been hiding for the past week, ever since the pictures appeared in Closer.

But Europe 1 radio station said she phoned them to deny the pregnancy claims, which first appeared on Twitter.

It came amid claims that Mr Hollande was already seeing Miss Gayet when he made Miss Trierweiler first lady of France.

The latest edition of Closer said the Gayet affair started as far back as 2011, the year before Mr Hollande became head of state.

This makes a mockery of Valerie Trierweiler’s position at the Elysee Palace – one which comes with its own office, five staff, and millions of pounds worth of perks including homes across France and chauffeur driven limousines.

Closer magazine initially unleashed the controversy with pictures of Miss Hollande and Miss Gayet under the headline: ‘They have been in love for two years’.

Glamorous: It is claimed that the French president and Miss Gayet, pictured last September, used two Paris flats for their regular trysts, one near the Elysee Palace and a second in the west of the French capital. Pic Splash news

It portrays Mr. Hollande as a ruthless and calculating love cheat, who has spent a large part of his time in power juggling two women.
The magazine adds that Miss Gayet met Mr. Hollande in 2011 when Ségolène Royal – the mother of Mr. Hollande’s four children and his partner for 30 years — supported the actress’s political activism.

The scandal has caused outrage in France, where the Socialist politician’s bungling of the economy has led to the unemployment rate spiralling, along with the cost of living.

Using impeccably placed sources who helped find the presidential love nest close to the Elysee Palace, his official residence in Paris, Closer pinpoints at least two others.

They include another apartment to the west of Paris, and one in the Riviera resort of Mougins, where the left-wing Mr. Hollande controversially owns two private homes.

In July last year, the couple even enjoyed a break in Tulle, Mr. Hollande’s constituency in central France, while Miss Trierweiler was on holiday by herself in Greece and ‘waiting for Mr. Hollande to join her”.

Mr. Hollande and Miss Gayet were seen wondering around the Tulle market place where, in 2012, Miss Trierweiler had triumphantly kissed Mr. Hollande on his election as head of state.

Mr. Hollande and Miss Gayet were also seen in a restaurant in Mougin, and in one in central Paris.

Photos taken of them by passers-by and by a concierge who worked in the Paris office block where Miss Gayet has her production company office, were regularly kept out the public eye, says Closer.

Miss Gayet last year also issued a statement through her lawyers denying point blank that Mr. Hollande was her lover – a claim which may come back to haunt if she now takes over as the new first lady.

The new revelations follow Miss Trierweiler also contacting a radio station in Paris to confirm that Mr. Hollande had not even visited

her, preferring to send ‘chocolates and flowers’.

'Confined': Valerie Trierweiler, partner of French President Francois Hollande, pictured in September last year. She remains in the care of a Paris hospital. Reuters

‘She doesn’t want people to think he is neglecting her at such a painful time,’ said a reporter for Paris radio station RTL who spoke to her.

‘It was the doctors who had forbidden the head of state to visit her, it is a widespread practice in case of psychological distress.
‘The patient is temporarily confined, kept at distance from their entourage to get better.’

Miss Trierweiler remains in the care of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, where she was admitted last week after first learning that Closer was to reveal details of Mr Hollande’s affair.

‘She is still very tired to the extent that she cannot stand up. Her blood pressure and morale are low but she hopes to leave with her head held high to and is prepared to fight, at least for her dignity,’ said RTL.

An official in Mr Hollande’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Miss Trierweiler had been hospitalised for ‘a crisis of nerves’ after learning of the alleged affair a day before Closer hit newsstands.

That’s a different explanation to the one given by Miss Trierweiler to RTL, and also to that given in the latest edition of Le Point, which claims she took ‘one pill too many’ because the ‘cold and ruthless’ Mr. Hollande wanted to dump her.

It is claimed that while she did not want to commit suicide, she could not deal with details of the president’s ‘cold and ruthless’ confession of his infidelity.

‘She took a pill too many,’ one source tells the Paris magazine. ‘However, she never wanted to attempt suicide.’

Le Nouvel Observateur, which has outstanding Elysee Palace contacts, said Mr. Hollande wanted to split up with Miss Trierweiler, but her sudden hospitalisation meant she could not.

‘Frangois Hollande had a dream but it only lasted the weekend,’ said the left-wing weekly.

Mr. Hollande had hoped, the magazine claimed, to get his official partner to sign a joint announcement of their separation on Saturday.
With a crucial conference before the world’s press scheduled for Tuesday he thought this would be the ‘least worst solution’.

But by Sunday night, Mr. Hollande abandoned the plan, because he feared it would make him look cruel and insensitive.

Now Miss Trierweiler has ‘not the slightest intention of packing her bags’, with the magazine stating: ‘OK to forgive, but not OK to leave.’

Mr Hollande told a Paris press conference on Tuesday that he would make his mind up about who his first lady was by February 11th.

This is the date that he is due to be in Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama.

In words which may be considered extremely cruel by both women, Mr Hollande confirmed that the presidential partner had ‘noofficial status’ in France, and he was determined to keep costs down – whoever was confirmed as first lady.

Mr Hollande is a lifelong bachelor, but has four children with former presidential candidate Segolene Royal – a fellow Socialist.
He and Miss Trierweiler have lived together since 2007.

© Daily Mail, London

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