• France's news in English

Trierweiler: 'Hollande wanted me back'

Ben McPartland · 3 Sep 2014, 08:34

Published: 03 Sep 2014 08:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Trierweiler is to release a book on Thursday titled 'Thank you for this moment' (Merci pour le moment), a memoire on her 20-month stint as the unofficial first lady of France.

The book, written in secret, spills the beans on their relationship and their painful break-up in January. It will no doubt be uncomfortable reading for Hollande with one reviewer claiming the president "is not spared".

Extracts of the book, which is set to cause waves around French political circles and stir up more trouble for Hollande, were published on Wednesday in Paris Match – the glossy magazine that Trierweiler works for.

Trierweiler, 49, describes the moment she cracked, when news of Hollande’s affair with actress Julie Gayet was all over the front pages on January 9th.

"The news is the top story of the morning. I cracked, I couldn’t listen to that," she writes. "I ran into the bathroom and took a little plastic bag containing some pills. François followed me. He tried to snatch my bag, but I ran into the bedroom.

“He grabbed the bag and it split. Pills were scattered over the bed and on the floor. I managed to recover what I needed and swallowed what I could. I just wanted to sleep. I did not want to go  through the hours that were ahead.

“I felt the storm break on me. And I did not have the strength to resist. I wanted to flee, I passed out,” writes Trierweiler.

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.

In quotes carried by Paris-Match, Trierweiler says that at the beginning, "it was electric between us when we were together."

But Hollande changed, "de-humanised" as he got closer to the reins of power, Trierweiler was quoted as saying by the weekly.

She became increasingly frustrated with the cabal surrounding Hollande as he campaigned for the keys to the Elysee Palace.

According to Paris-Match, Stephane Le Foll, a close advisor and now government spokesman, told her: "If you want an evening with Francois, you have to go through me."

The author insists everything she writes is the truth and says she has "suffered from too many lies to start telling lies herself".

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.

The former political correspondent at Paris Match recounts how she felt her relationship with Hollande was falling apart even before news of his affair with Gayet broke.

“I feel as if François no longer wants me to be part of his political life. I am in love with a man who I feel is slipping away from me with all the glory. My world is upside down,” she writes.

 But after their break-up Trierweiler says her and Hollande continued to see each other and exchange text messages. The president sent 29 texts in just one day," she writes.

So despite coming under fire for publicly dumping Trierweiler days after news of the affair broke and after she had been released from hospital after a short stay for "exhaustion", Hollande apparently was desperate to get her back.

“He told me that he need me. Every evening he asked me to go for dinner with him and that he wanted me back, no matter what price he had to pay," she writes. "He said he would win me back as if I was an election."

According to a friend of Trierweiler’s who was quoted in Le Parisien, the ex-first lady “clearly understood” by spring, that she would not be going back to the Elysée.

“She had thought Julie Gayet was out of the picture, but that was not the case,” said the source, who suggested Trierweiler’s only way to take revenge was to write the book and keep it a secret until the last moment.

Trierweiler and her publishers have managed to keep the lid on the publication of the book in order to gain maximum publicity when it is finally released this week. It's also come as a nasty shock to Hollande himself, it seems.

Story continues below…

The publication of the book has come as a surprise to the Elysée, where a source told AFP they were "not aware" of the book's publication. "So by definition we have not read this book."

The book has been described in various quarters as “the bomb”, “the shock book” or “the book that shakes the Elysée”.

In order to keep it top secret and to prevent any leaks, independent publishers Les Arènes, kept the editing team tight and had the book printed in Germany.

“The delivery lorries are only crossing the border today, so the shelves will be filled first thing tomorrow morning," a source told Le Parisien.

Writing in a column for Paris Match, journalist Catherine Schwaab says Hollande can “sleep well” as there are no state secrets revealed in the book.

“Valérie only talks about love, tears and passion,” she said.

However, that doesn’t mean it will be any less embarrassing for the head of state.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available