• France's news in English

'First lady' Trierweiler heads off to India

AFP/The Local · 24 Jan 2014, 13:34

Published: 24 Jan 2014 13:34 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Trierweiler "is going to Mumbai", an aide said, adding that the two-day trip was organised by French relief organization Action Against Hunger and had been planned long in advance.

The aid group had invited Trierweiler in her official capacity and was paying for the trip, the aide said.

It is her first public trip following revelations of Hollande's affair with 41-year-old French actress Julie Gayet.

In Mumbai, Trierweiler will be shown around by French actress Charlotte Valandrey, who is involved in the cause of promoting organ donations and transplants.

She will visit a slum in India's teeming financial hub and film capital and also attend a charity gala dinner, Le Parisien daily said.

Trierweiler remains holed up in a presidential retreat near the chateau of Versailles outside Paris since leaving hospital last Saturday. She was hospitalized for a week and treated for a bout of "tiredness" brought on by the scandal.

On Thursday, Frederique Giffard, a lawyer for 48-year-old Trierweiler, said her client was aware that a "clarification" to the tangled situation was due.

Griffard remained evasive on the question of whether they would split, saying: "The president and my client are thinking. The decision is theirs alone. It is very difficult for Valerie Trierweiler to remain calm in the face of this media and political pressure. But she is aware that a clarification is necessary."

But Trierweiler reacted furiously to the lawyer's remarks and chastened Giffard for speaking without her permission.

Her chief of staff Patrice Biancome said he was "the sole person authorized to speak in the name of Valérie Trierweiler", an announcement interpreted as a sign that she considered herself first lady and that no clarification was necessary as far as she was concerned.

Hollande had promised in a mid-January news conference that he would publicly define what sort of relationship he and Trierweiler are in before going on a February 11th state visit to Washington.

The 59-year-old leader has so far made no official comment on whether France still has a first lady.

But the popular Le Parisien headlined its lead story with the title: "First lady, it's over."

Trierweiler, a feisty figure who has worked for the magazine Paris Match and was dubbed "Rottweiler" by detractors, was initially a discreet companion of Hollande when he was with a fellow Socialist Party heavyweight, Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children.

She emerged into the spotlight before he was elected president, and warned she would not be a wallflower, saying in April 2012: "I have character, they cannot muzzle me."

That was quickly proven when Trierweiler tweeted her support in legislative elections for an independent rival of Royal, someone with whom the first lady did not have warm relations.

The tweet went down badly in France, and Trierweiler's reputation suffered, with many deeming her somewhat haughty and arrogant.

Story continues below…

But she has not commented on the latest scandal since French glossy Closer broke news of the affair on January 10th.

She only tweeted after being released from hospital on January 19th to thank her supporters.

"Very touched," she wrote, using her personal and not her official account.

After Hollande was elected president, Trierweiler took a leave of absence from Paris Match and engaged in charitable activities.

She had visited India in February last year on an official trip with Hollande and went to a shelter for street children in the capital New Delhi.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available