The ambitious French first lady and a spectacular fall from grace

Further research however shows that the French First Lady appears to be receiving her just desserts. LOL! They do say what goes around comes around. Karma, anyone?


By Steve Bird

Not since the days of Marie Antoinette has a  woman been so reviled by the French people as Valerie Trierweiler.

Now, many are enjoying a sense of  schadenfreude as the haughty partner (and previously former long-term   mistress) of Francois Hollande has finally got her come-uppance.

For it seems that the twice-married   48-year-old journalist is reaping what she sowed during her own egotistical  pursuit of fame and power.

Her rise — from humble ‘political affairs’  reporter to the First Lady of France, with a staff of five at the Elysee Palace  — is a story of extraordinary ambition and vanity, accompanied by her trademark  cattiness.

Classic French farce: Hollande and Trierweiler in May 2013Classic French farce: Hollande and Trierweiler in May  2013

This sordid Gallic soap opera began when  Hollande’s university sweetheart and mother of his four children, Segolene  Royal, ran for president in 2007. At the time, he was little more than a fellow  Left-wing politician with the looks of a portly small-town bank manager.

Although not married, Hollande was Royal’s  dutiful common-law partner of nearly 30 years; ever at her side and always  declaring his undying love for such a talented mother and politician.

Royal, though, was unsuccessful in  her  bid for power and was defeated by Nicolas Sarkozy.

Affair: Julie Gayet, the actress Hollande is rumoured to be involved withAffair: Julie Gayet, the actress Hollande is rumoured to  be involved with

But it later emerged that Royal’s  happy-family image was a facade. For at least two years, the couple had been  living a sham in a brazen attempt to  bolster her presidential  chances.

In truth, around 2005, Hollande had left  Royal for Trierweiler, the Paris Match journalist then on her second  marriage.

To the  French public, the revelation offered the most dysfunctional public love  triangle since Princess Diana famously revealed there were three in her  marriage. Even the usually supportive, Left-leaning newspaper Liberation  described Hollande as starring in the  middle of a  ‘psychodrama’.

A subsequent biography of herself, which  Trierweiler tried to ban, even claimed that she was sharing her favours at the  time with another man — the conservative politician, Patrick  Devedjian.

In due course, Hollande and Royal split and  he decided to run — successfully — for president himself. Naturally, Trierweiler  (appearing in a black chiffon dress that had a high split and exposed her  favourite nude tights) moved into the Elysee Palace with him and set about  underscoring her triumph with a campaign of open hostility towards her previous  love-rival, Royal.

Trierweiler was single-minded in her  determination. Nicknamed Valerie ‘Rottweiler’, she was accused of demanding that  Hollande’s political team removed a photo of Royal from his campaign  literature. She also berated any  journalist who failed to mention that, despite their political allegiance, Royal  and Hollande were no longer an item.

For example, when a Paris Match colleague  mentioned the son of the ‘Royal-Hollande couple’, Trierweiler sent the tetchy  text message: ‘What are you playing at? The ex-couple,  Royal-Hollande!’

In 2012, she used Twitter to rile Royal, then  standing as the official Socialist candidate in an election in La Rochelle, by  supporting her political opponent. This was deeply humiliating for Hollande, who  had already declared his backing for Royal.

Trierweiler’s concern, it seems, was that  Hollande’s ex-lover might end up working closely with him.

Closer claims Hollande was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet, backing its claim with photographs after months of swirling rumoursCloser claims Hollande was having an affair with actress  Julie Gayet, backing its claim with photographs after months of swirling  rumours

Not surprisingly, Royal declared the tweet a  ‘poisonous stab in the back’ and quoted the writer Victor Hugo, saying:  ‘Traitors always pay for their treachery in the end.’

The prime minister told Trierweiler she ought  to ‘know her place’ and a French newspaper joined the fray, describing Hollande  as ‘a man sandwiched between two feisty women’, likening the cat-fight to an  episode of TV’s Dallas.

For their part, Hollande’s four children by  Royal declared they would never speak to Trierweiler again.

The enmity between the two women is even more  remarkable when you consider that, in 1992, after Royal gave birth to her fourth  child by Hollande, she gave the first interview from the maternity ward to none  other than Trierweiler.

Valerie Trierweiler and ‘the other woman’ Julie  Gayet


At Hollande¿s presidential victory party, he was filmed kissing Royal on the cheek, only for Trierweiler to then demand he kiss her on the mouthAt Hollande’s presidential victory party, he was filmed  kissing Royal on the cheek, only for Trierweiler to then demand he kiss her on  the mouth

How times have changed. At Hollande’s  presidential victory party, he was filmed kissing Royal on the cheek, only for  Trierweiler to then demand he kiss her on the mouth.

What is most hypocritical is that, throughout  this unedifying saga, Trierweiler — a  journalist for a sensationalist  magazine which has for years covered the private lives of France’s elite — has  tried to use privacy laws to ban revelations about herself.

But she sees herself as superior to other  journalists, with Hollande’s campaign team nicknaming her ‘The Duchess’. Once,  she hit a colleague for making what she took to be an ‘anti-feminist’  remark.

Turned into a laughing stock: Valerie TrierwelerTurned into a laughing stock: Valerie  Trierweler


The day after Hollande became president, she  boasted that she would be a far better First Lady than her predecessor,  Sarkozy’s glamorous  pop-star wife, Carla Bruni.

As her confidence as First Lady has grown, so  she has become increasingly bossy. She is said to have put Hollande on a diet  (banning puddings) and took notes on his BlackBerry in  meetings.

However, some political commentators believe  the President has become increasingly irritated by his pushy partner and perhaps  is pleased that his affair with an actress 18 years younger than him has been  exposed. Indeed, Trierweiler must have been devastated by the  revelation.

Born in a four-bedroom council house in a  working-class district of Angers, a city in the Loire Valley, and the fifth  child of six, she drove herself to success through a combination of brains,  beauty and hard work.

Her  father, a clerk, had lost a leg after standing on a  landmine in 1944 when  he  was 12.

A disciplinarian, he encouraged his children  to express their opinions during dinner table debates and, every night before  bed, they would be expected to read for half an hour.

Though doing well at school, his daughter  appeared more interested in clothes than politics. ‘I’d have expected to see her  as a fashion critic  rather than a political journalist,’ her mother, who  worked  as a cashier at an ice-rink  to make ends meet after her  husband died, admitted years later.

But she proudly watched as her daughter went  on to win her place at the centre of  Paris’s political scene.

Now  with Valerie ‘Rottweiler’ in hospital, suffering from ‘exhaustion’, the saga,  which the French have called ‘Dallas at the Elysee’, clearly has many more  episodes to run.

Culled from

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