World

Francois Hollande 'too traumatised' by ex-lover to make Julie Gayet First Lady

Paris: French President Francois Hollande has finally found the perfect First Lady in Julie Gayet but is too "poly-traumatised" by his previous relationship with Valerie Trierweiler to make their relationship "official", a biography of the actress claims.

Indeed, the authors say Ms Gayet's absence from the public eye may well have killed off the role of First Lady in France once and for all.

French actress Julie Gayet at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.
French actress Julie Gayet at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. Photo: AP/File

L'Intermittente de l'Elysee (The Elysee Irregular), the first book about the actress who became a household name when her liaison with France's president was exposed in January 2014, also revealed that Ms Gayet, 43, mockingly refers to her "fiance", long nicknamed Flanby after a caramel pudding, as a "greedy eater and badly dressed".

The authors said Mr Hollande posed serious security concerns by spending nights away from the Elysee Palace at Ms Gayet's loft apartment in an eastern Paris district, a stone's throw from where terrorists twice struck last year at Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Bataclan.

French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech to foreign ambassadors in Paris on Thursday.
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech to foreign ambassadors in Paris on Thursday.  Photo: AP

She has – at least until the latest attacks – refused a security escort except in "rare circumstances", driving around Paris in her white Citroen. The couple also take pleasure out of playing "hide and seek" with paparazzi.

However, it is unlikely, the authors said, that the couple will make their relationship more "official" before the end of his five-year term in 2017.

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Yet, while she may have killed off the role of First Lady, she has the perfect pedigree for the role.

"Her mother comes from a big industrial family, like many former First Ladies. Her grandfather is one of the last 'Companions of Liberation' – French citizens who were decorated by Charles de Gaulle for having helped liberate France from the Nazis – and her father is a renowned surgeon," said Soazig Quemener, political editor of Marianne magazine, who co-wrote the book with Francois Aubel, the cultural editor of Le Figaro.

"She is well-educated, knows how power works, and has been coached by a top PR supremo. If you add to that the fact she is a true left-wing militant and a feminist, she is perfect for the role – not to mention that she is beautiful and glamorous."

Telegraph, London

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