Valerie Trierweiler (centre) and French actress Charlotte Valandrey tour the children's ward at the Sion hospital in Mumbai. Photo: AFP

Indian visit brings Valerie Trierweiler back to earth after split with Hollande

Hospital a reality check for ex-French first lady after split with Hollande


A smiling Valerie Trierweiler braved a media scrum yesterday as she toured a hospital in India in her first public appearance since separating from French President Francois Hollande.

The former first lady appeared relaxed but declined to talk to a crowd of journalists about her private life as she began a two-day charity trip by visiting a Mumbai centre for premature babies.

Wearing a dark blue dress and heels, the glamorous 48-year-old insisted she would only talk about her work promoting French charity Action Against Hunger.

She flew in from Paris late on Sunday and was to give a press conference in the afternoon at the five-star Taj hotel after visiting another hospital and attending a fund-raising lunch.

"It's very impressive to see these babies of less than one kilogram with very limited chances of survival," she said.

Hollande announced on Saturday that he was splitting from his partner of eight years following media scrutiny over his relationship with French actress Julie Gayet, 41.

Trierweiler had been convalescing at a presidential residence outside Paris after leaving hospital on January 18, where she was treated for what was described as fatigue brought on by media reports of the affair two weeks ago. The twice-married mother of three visited India in February last year with Hollande.

Trierweiler's chief of staff, Patrice Biancone, said that her office as first lady would be formally eliminated tomorrow.

"These last few days have been difficult. But today, she is serene," he said on Sunday.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Tour a reality check for former French first lady