Valerie Trierweiler reveals time with Francois Hollande in memoire
Former first lady breaks silence over her time with president, and devastation after break-up
Agence France-Presse in Paris
A heated passion, a tumultuous break-up and a desperate bid at reconciliation: for the first time, France's former first lady spills the beans about her tempestuous relationship with President Francois Hollande.
In a kiss-and-tell memoir, Valerie Trierweiler charts the highs and lows of her time with Hollande, who could suffer further embarrassment from the new revelations.
In extracts published yesterday by glossy magazine
Paris-Match, Trierweiler describes the bust-up in the presidential bedroom when news broke of Hollande's affair with actress Julie Gayet.
"I crack up. I don't want to hear that, I rush into the bathroom. I grab the little plastic bag with the sleeping pills," she recounts in an episode run in the magazine.
"Francois follows me. He tries to snatch the bag... The pills spill over the bed and on the ground... I swallow what I can. I want to sleep. I don't want to live through the coming hours... I lost consciousness."
Hollande's office said it was "not aware" of the book's publication. "So by definition we have not read this book," a source close to the Socialist leader said.
The glamorous journalist, now 49, got together with Hollande in 2005 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 is quoted as saying by the weekly.
Then once elected, Hollande pulled further and further away.
She recalls an episode before a state dinner, when he asked her whether it took her a long time to be "beautiful", to which she responded in the affirmative.
"At the same time, no one asks anything else of you," the president told her.
News of his affair with the 42-year-old Gayet caused shockwaves in France in January, and Trierweiler was in hospital for a week after
Closer published pictures of Hollande arriving for secret trysts with the actress at a borrowed flat.
Hollande then announced his relationship with Trierweiler was over in an 18-word statement that was devoid of regret or remorse for the woman he had once described as "the love of my life".
But according to
Paris-Match, the break-up actually sparked a new passion in Hollande.
The weekly says he bombarded her with text messages, "up to 29 in one day", even finding time between a meeting with US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin to send her "passionate messages". "He tells me he is going to win me back as if I was an election,"
Paris-Match quoted her as saying.
Thank You For This Moment, is to hit bookshops in France today with a reported first print run of 200,000.