Valerie Trierweiler: 'I don't regret a thing. What I went
through was an extraordinary period of my life that brought
me to somewhere else.' Photo Reuters
The former first lady of France, Valerie Trierweiler,
said she felt as if she had plunged from a skyscraper when
President Francois Hollande told her of his affair with an
Trierweiler, from whom Hollande announced his separation on
Saturday, told the glossy magazine Paris Match that she had
been aware of rumours about an affair, but that having them
confirmed by her partner of seven years was a shock.
"I had heard rumours, obviously, but you hear them about
everyone," said Trierweiler, saying she paid them little
"When I found out, it's like I fell off a skyscraper."
Trierweiler gave the interview to Paris Match, for which she
works as a columnist, during a humanitarian visit this week
to Mumbai with the charity Action Against Hunger.
The India trip was her first public appearance after spending
eight days in hospital and a week in seclusion following
publication by the tabloid Closer of photos which it said
showed Hollande, 59, making nocturnal visits to the apartment
of 41-year-old French actress Julie Gayet.
The photos - and Hollande's initial refusal to speak about
his private life - provoked questions over Trierweiler's
position, and distracted attention from the president's new
Hollande's announcement on Saturday put an end to the
uncertainty and to Trierweiler's role which she had assumed
after his election victory in May 2012. As first lady, she
maintained an office and staff at the presidential palace
with a budget of roughly 20,000 euros per month.
The night before the photos were published, Hollande came to
break the news to Trierweiler and they spent a long night
"talking, without eating or sleeping", she said.
Fatigue and shock took their toll the next morning and
Trierweiler fainted, prompting her hospital visit, she said.
Trierweiler, who plans to continue working for humanitarian
causes, told the magazine she did not regret her relationship
or her 19 months as first lady.
"It may seem strange, but I'm not going through a crisis
period," she said. "It's not the first break-up in my life.
It's been rough because it was turned into a media event.
"I don't regret a thing. What I went through was an
extraordinary period of my life that brought me to somewhere
else. I'm going to go back to my life from before, but it
will be enriched by a new experience."