4 surprising revelations from former first lady's tell-all book on Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande, left, and Valerie Trierweiler arrive for a state dinner at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Tuesday, May. 7, 2013. (AP / Thibault Camus)
Karolyn Coorsh, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, September 4, 2014 12:00PM EDT
The former companion of French President Francois Hollande has released an explosive and candid book about her shortlived time as France’s first lady.
In “Thank you for the moment,” Valerie Trierweiler provides new details about her troubled relationship with the French head of state, which ended amid reports that he was having an affair.
Here is a look at some of the more surprising tidbits from her memoir:
Hollande mocked the poor
According to “Le Monde,” one of two French publications to obtain copies of the book, Trierweiler claims that despite Hollande’s public image as the defender of the impoverished, he spoke negatively about the poor in private, referring to them as “toothless.” The revelation is particularly surprising – and potentially damaging to his political career -- given that Hollande has tried to position himself as a champion of the less fortunate. Before his presidency, Hollande once famously said that he did “not like the rich.”
Desperation following break-up
Publications that excerpted the book also reported troubling revelations, particularly the morning after news of Hollande’s affair with actress Julie Gayet broke. Trierweiler says she “cracked” and swallowed a number of sleeping pills after paparazzi photos of Hollande outside Gayet’s home made headlines. Trierweiler spent a week in hospital following her split from Hollande, before he publicly announced their separation.
Begged for her to return
Trierweiler wrote that after their break-up, Hollande appeared to be desperate to get back together, sending her as many as 29 text messages in one day. According to an article in the Daily Mail, Trierweiler writes in the book: "He said he would win me back as if it was an election."
Michelle Obama’s ‘jealousy’ over selfie
Trierweiler doesn’t limit her writings to Hollande. In another excerpt, Trierweiler writes that U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was jealous when her husband, U.S. President Barack Obama posed for a “selfie” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron at Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa. Treirweiler was referring to rumours that Michelle Obama was less-than-pleased over the impromptu photo-taking session, which showed her husband smiling while joking around with Thorning-Schmidt, who was seated next to him. “I’m glad that I’m not the only one who is jealous,” Trierweiler writes, adding "Everything I have written is true. At the Elysée I sometimes felt as if I was on a reporting assignment. I've suffered too much from lies to use them myself."