France's first lady leaves hospital

Saturday 18 January 2014 22.43
Ms Trierweiler left the Pitie Salpetriere hospital just after 2pm Irish time and went to the president's official residence at La Lanterne in Versailles to rest, said the magazine, for which Ms Trierweiler works
Ms Trierweiler left the Pitie Salpetriere hospital just after 2pm Irish time and went to the president's official residence at La Lanterne in Versailles to rest, said the magazine, for which Ms Trierweiler works

French first lady Valerie Trierweiler has left hospital in Paris, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President Francois Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet, Paris Match magazine said on its website.

Ms Trierweiler left the Pitie Salpetriere hospital just after 2pm Irish time and went to the president's official residence at La Lanterne in Versailles to rest, said the magazine, for which Ms Trierweiler works.       

Mr Hollande's office declined to comment. Sources close to Trierweiler were not immediately reachable to confirm the report.  

Paris Match said that Trierweiler was expected to spend a few days at La Lanterne, near the Chateau de Versailles, citing sources close to Mr Hollande.

Ms Trierweiler was admitted to hospital on 10 January after gossip magazine Closer published what it said were images of Mr Hollande making a nocturnal visit to Ms Gayet's pied-a-terre apartment in the upmarket eighth arrondissement of Paris.

Mr Hollande, who visited Ms Trierweiler in hospital on Thursday,according to a source in his office, was in his old parliamentary constituency of Tulle, in central France, today. His speech there made no reference to the matter.

The reports of the affair with Ms Gayet, which Mr Hollande has neither confirmed nor denied, have raised questions about whether Ms Trierweiler will continue to occupy the unofficial position of France's "first lady" and accompany the president on state visits.

Ms Trierweiler  after leaving hospital said that she was "very touched" by messages of support, in her first public comments since the scandal over the French president's affair broke. 

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who sent messages of support on my recovery via twitter, text and email. Very touched," Valerie Trierweiler wrote in a tweet.

Mr Hollande pledged at a news conference on Tuesday to clarify Ms Trierweiler's status ahead of a trip to the United States scheduled for 9 February.

He brushed off questions about the alleged affair. He said everyone in their personal life could "face trials" and that "that is our case", adding that "these are painful moments".

The president has insisted on his right to a private life and has pursued business largely as usual.

He unveiled his economic reform plans for the rest of his five-year presidency at the Tuesday event and giving a keynote speech to French diplomats yesterday.

While the reports surrounding Mr Hollande, Ms Trierweiler and Ms Gayet have hit the headlines internationally, the French are traditionally indulgent of their leaders' sexual indiscretions.

A poll carried out by BVA for French TV channel iTele published today showed three-quarters of those interviewed thought Mr Hollande was right not to answer questions about his private life, with 62% considering it was a private matter that only concerned him.

Before the publication in Closer, Mr Hollande had become the least popular French president in modern times, largely due to tax increases, recession and high unemployment, compounded by a reputation for dithering.