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On the eve of Valerie Trierweiler departure to India, French President Hollande announced their separation to news agency Agence France Presse saying that their 'shared life' was coming to an end. Trierweiler became the first ever unwed companion of a French President when François Hollande was elected in 2012.
A tabloid recently photographed Hollande leaving the Presidential palace on a scooter, allegedly to meet the ‘second lady’ in his life, actress Julie Gayet. The President had publicly acknowledged that there was a crisis in his private life.
Trierweiler was a journalist with magazine Paris Match but gave up political reporting once Hollande was elected to avoid conflict of interest. When they moved to the Elysée palace, Trierweiler said she wanted to continue earning her wages rather than depend on the state.
France has no official ‘First Lady’ status even if there are certain perks reserved for the President’s partner. There is no sympathy wave for Ms. Trierweiler in France who has never been a very popular "première dame".
A recent poll (BVA-Le Parisien) showed 54% believed the President’s partner should have no official role and should not be maintained on taxpayers’ money. Trierweiler will be in Mumbai for the launch of Fight Hunger Foundation who confirmed to HT that her trip is sponsored by Air France and Hotel Taj Mahal Palace.
Saying he was speaking as a private individual, Hollande announced: "I wish to make it known that I have ended my partnership with Valerie Trierweiler."
Trierweiler, 48, remains holed up in a presidential residence in Versailles outside Paris after leaving hospital last Saturday, where she was treated for a bout of "tiredness" brought on by press revelations of Hollande's affair with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet.
Hollande had promised at a mid-January news conference that he would publicly define what relationship, if any, he and Trierweiler had before a February 11 state visit to the United States.
Trierweiler is a glamorous, twice-divorced career journalist who has three children of her own and has been Hollande's partner for the best part of a decade.
She emerged into the spotlight before he was elected president, and warned that she would not be a wallflower, saying in April 2012: "I have character, they cannot muzzle me."
She has not commented on the latest scandal since French glossy Closer broke news of Hollande's affair with Gayet on January 10.
She only tweeted after being released from hospital on January 19 to thank her supporters.