France’s former first lady Valerie Trierweiler has said that hearing news of President Francois Hollande’s affair with actress Julie Gayet was like falling from a skyscraper.
Valerie Trierweiler said in an interview with Paris Match she had refused to believe reports of the affair until she saw it in gossip magazine Closer, which printed photos.
Francois Hollande said on Saturday he had “put an end” to his “shared life” with Valerie Trierweiler, his unmarried partner.
Opposition politicians have accused him of callousness and egotism.
Francois Hollande, 59, has neither confirmed nor denied the report in Closer on January 10 that he was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet, 41.
Valerie Trierweiler, 48, was admitted to hospital shortly after news of the report and had been living at a presidential retreat in Versailles since her release.
Hours after Francois Hollande announced he had left Valerie Trierweiler, her presidential Twitter account was shut down, while her page on the French presidential website was no longer active on Monday.
Speaking to Paris Match, the French magazine for which she works as a journalist, Valerie Trierweiler said: “When I found out, it was like I’d fallen from a skyscraper.”
“Clearly I had heard the rumors but you heard [rumors] about everyone. I hear them about myself too, all of the time. I paid no attention to them.”
Valerie Trierweiler, who has been divorced twice, said she was not “undergoing a period of crisis”.
“It’s not the first break-up in my life,” she said.
“This one was violent because of the media attention.”
Telling the magazine she had no regrets, Valerie Trierweiler said she planned to take up her previous life, “enriched by a new experience”.
Valerie Trierweiler moved in with Francois Hollande after his official separation from Segolene Royal, the unmarried mother of his four children, in 2007. Valerie Trierweiler has three children of her own by her last husband.
Speaking separately to another French weekly, Le Parisien Magazine, Valerie Trierweiler said she and Francois Hollande had exchanged text messages after his announcement of their break-up because of his concern for her health.
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a leading figure in France’s main centre-right party the UMP, has predicted that women voters will not quickly forget the dry manner in which the president announced their separation.
“I felt like I was reading a sacking letter rather than a break-up one,” the candidate for mayor of Paris said.
Julie Gayet has been keeping a very low profile, AFP news agency notes, although friends have been quoted in the media as saying she has no intention of trying to become the next first lady.
[youtube xnE643zB09I 650]