Valerie Trierweiler has revealed in her newly released tell-all book that she swallowed sleeping pills after confronting President Francois Hollande over his affair with actress Julie Gayet.
France’s former first lady’s account of their break-up has been revealed in excerpts of a book published by Paris Match magazine.
Photos of Francois Hollande’s liaison with Julie Gayet appeared in January 2014.
Valerie Trierweiler, 49, describes how she snapped after hearing about the affair and wanted to escape.
Francois Hollande’s break-up with Valerie Trierweiler captivated France for weeks at the start of 2014 and such was the secrecy surrounding her book that it was printed in Germany.
Until now Valerie Trierweiler has said little about how their relationship ended and the contents of her book, Thank You For This Moment.
Even President Francois Hollande only found out about it on September 2.
“The Julie Gayet story is the top headline on the morning bulletins,” Valerie Trierweiler’s account in Paris Match begins.
“I crack up. I can’t listen to that. I rush into the bathroom. I grab the little plastic bag which has sleeping pills in. Francois has followed me, he tries to snatch the bag. I run into the bedroom.
“He snatches the bag which tears. Some pills spill on the ground. I reach out to pick some up, I swallow what I can. I want to sleep, I don’t want to live through the coming hours. I want to escape, I lose consciousness.”
After pictures were published by Closer magazine of Francois Hollande arriving at a flat for meetings with Julie Gayet, Valerie Trierweiler was admitted to hospital in Paris where she spent a week.
At the time, French media quoted a friend of Valerie Trierweiler saying that she had taken “one pill too many” but denying she had tried to commit suicide.
Valerie Trierweiler then continued her recuperation at the presidential residence at Versailles before the couple formally separated.
Julie Gayet, 42, successfully sued Closer magazine in March for breaching her privacy.
Before beginning a relationship with Valerie Trierweiler, Francois Hollande had four children with Segolene Royal, a former Socialist presidential candidate who joined the French government this year and is now environment minister.
In one extract in Paris Match – the magazine that journalist Valerie Trierweiler worked for before and during her time as first lady – she describes how Francois Hollande initially admitted only that the affair had gone on for more than a month. Eventually, Valerie Trierweiler discovered it had lasted an entire year.
Valerie Trierweiler also takes a swipe at Francois Hollande’s Socialist credentials, claiming that while he has created an image of disliking the rich, “in reality the president doesn’t like the poor”.
“He, the man of the left, talks about <<the toothless ones>> in private, very proud of his humorous streak.”
The hashtag “SansDents” fast became a top-trending French-language topic on Twitter on September 3 just behind “Trierweiler”.
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