Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Valérie Trierweiler was not what you could call a popular First lady. Not at all. She was “la mal aimée”. At the beginning of the Closer-affaire, it felt as if the French where happy to finally get rid of a First Lady who they did never love; a first lady who seemed cold, sometimes arrogant and who had most of all such a hard time finding into her job.
Photo: © Punit Paranjpe - AFP
Meanwhile, a couple of days after President Hollande has sacked his ex-partner in a heartless 18-wordt statement, she’s getting the sympathy of more and more people. Hollandes official declaration actually sounded like he was applying for the award of the most inelegant break-up: “I wish to make it know that I have ended the life together that I shared with Valérie Trierweiler”. That didn’t sound very French. No diplomatic effort, nothing. Apparently he read the short phrase himself on the phone to the political editor of the French news agency AFP without stumbling over his cold words.
On her charity trip to India, Miss Trierweiler meanwhile spoke out for the first time since he split up with her: “When I knew, I felt like I was falling from a skyscraper”, she told a colleague of Paris Match, the magazine that is still employing her. Trierweiler mostly blamed the power for destroying her relationship with Hollande. On a brief and informal meeting with French journalists in India, she spoke about “low blows”, “back-stabbing” and “betrayals” in the Elysée Palace that had hastened the demise of her couple. “We would still be together had he not become president,” she insisted, without elaborating on the link between Mr Hollande’s presidential victory and his longstanding affair with Julie Gayet, a 41-year-old actress.
However, Trierweiler can’t say she hadn’t been warned. When she shook hands with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy during the official handover of power 18 months ago, the smart Bruni told her to be very, very careful. Bruni herself admitted that she was sick of “this life”, the permanent attacks, the media pressure. She had told Trierweiler that she soon will find out who her true friends were.
Meanwhile Trierweiler has learned her lesson: “I’m vaccinated. You cannot measure just how much betrayal and hypocrisy there is. You are struck by low blows without asking for anything. That’s not my way of doing things,” said the ex-First lady who doesn’t want to continue to work as a political journalist but is looking for new challenges in the humanitarian business.
After leaving the presidential palace, she tweeted: “All my gratitude to the extraordinary Elysée staff. I will never forget their devotion nor emotion at the point of departure.” But again, another tweet too much. Because at least one person did not show any emotion. “If there are people who wish to leave the Elysée overcome by emotion, they should tell me over the next few days”, Hollande said according to Le Canard Enchainé, the investigative weekly. The newspaper also revealed that more than 130 images of Mss Trierweiler and all references to her had been eradicated from the Elysée website by the president’s staff. Sounds like Soviet Union but it’s just the way a French president deals with his private life.
The question in France now is: Do we need a First Lady? People mostly deny. All political advisors of Hollande are hoping for a “bachelor president”. Even the president himself has reportedly said: “I don’t want any more first ladies in the future at the Elysée”.
But read my lips, the French are already waiting for the next episode of the telenovela broadcasted directly from the Palace. Will Julie Gayet play the main character? We don’t know yet. Probably she already knows about the harms of the light. But one thing is clear: Even if they say they are not, but the French wanted to know the private life of their president. In times where the economical situation is disastrous and Hollande’s political performance leaves much to be desired, it’s the last entertainment left.