herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Hollande 'tells jokes about poor', says ex

Francois Hollande is a cold, cynical cheat, and a Socialist who "doesn't like the poor", according to a devastating memoir written by a vengeful Valerie Trierweiler, the French president's spurned ex-girlfriend.

Depicted as icy, obsessively ambitious, and out of his depth, the president is picked apart in Thank You For This Moment, a "kiss-and-tell" account of Miss Trierweiler's nine-year relationship with Mr Hollande and her 18 months at the Elysee Palace.

Mr Hollande's aides said he was kept totally in the dark about its release and was "appalled" at extracts leaked yesterday, including one recounting a desperate fight to stop Miss Trierweiler taking sleeping pills in the presidential bedroom after his affair with Julie Gayet, the actress, hit the headlines.

But perhaps the most damaging passage of the book, cited by Le Monde, is one in which Mr Hollande appears to mock the poor.

"He presents himself as the man who doesn't like the rich. In reality, the president doesn't like the poor," writes Miss Trierweiler, who is from a gritty neighbourhood of Angers, in the Loire Valley. Her father is an invalid, and her mother worked as an ice rink cashier.

Toothless

"This man, a Left-winger, calls them in private 'the toothless ones' and is very pleased with his little joke," she claims.

A friend told Le Parisien that Miss Trierweiler (49), had initially shelved her plans to write a memoir, but then changed her mind when she "finally realised that he would never come back".

"She thought Julie Gayet was out of the picture, which was never the case. She wreaked revenge, quite simply," the friend is cited as saying.

Miss Trierweiler's time as first lady ended unceremoniously in January when Mr Hollande publicly dumped her following disclosures about his secret love affair with Miss Gayet (42).

In extracts released yesterday by glossy magazine Paris-Match, she discloses that Mr Hollande proposed to her in September 2012, only to suddenly pull out.

The French press have said the timing of the book's release was "disastrous" for Mr Hollande, whose approval ratings are rock bottom.

hnews@herald.ie

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