A former French minister today pledged to sue the authors who revealed that he shared a mistress with the current Socialist president of France.
Patrick Devedjian, 68, was outraged to see himself placed in a love triangle with Francois Hollande, 58, and his live-in-lover Valerie Trierweiler, 47.
Ms Trierweiler, a Paris Match journalist, was herself married when she used to meet the pair for regular sex sessions behind their own partners’ backs, according to authors Christophe Jakubyszyn and Alix Bouilhaget.
Mr Devedjian, a former conservative economic recovery minister who has been married to the same army general’s daughter for 33 years, said he ‘condemned the authors’ claims’ that he had an ‘intimate relationship lasting several years’ with Ms Trierweiler.
Their book, La Frondeuse (The Rebellious One) , has sent shockwaves throughout the Paris political establishment, with Mr Devedjian now saying he will claim a breach of privacy and defamation.
It follows Ms Trierweiler doing the same thing on the eve of the book’s launch today, although neither she nor Mr Devedjian have disputed any specific facts.
They include the claim that Ms Trierweiler was seeing Mr Devedjian at the same time as Mr Hollande , who was at the time living with Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children and a senior Socialist politician in her own right.
There followed a period ‘a bit like Jules and Jim,’ claim the authors, referring to the 1962 Francois Truffaut film in which Jeanne Moreau plays Catherine, a woman in a love triangle with her husband and another man.
Ms Trierweiler’s lawyer Frederique Giffard said: “The nature of the claims in the form of affirmations by the authors alongside unproven, malicious rumours aimed at sullying her and those close to her have led Valirie Trierweiler to take this action.’
Defending the biography, co-author Alix Bouilhaget insisted it was an ‘honest investigation’ whose role was to unravel the ‘ambiguity that exists between politicians and political journalists’.
At the time of the alleged three-way relationship in the early 2000s, Miss Trierweiler was a political journalist for Paris Match, the weekly glossy magazine, as was her then husband Denis.
The authors claim that at one point during the alleged three-way relationship both Mr Hollande and Mr Devedjian were general secretaries of their respective parties.
‘At what moment does one cross the red line? It’s very ambiguous,’ said Ms Bouilhaguet, a journalist with TV channel France 2.
‘To have an intimate relationship with the head of the Left or the head of the Right has an impact on political life,’ she said.
Ms Trierweiler’s lawyer said that co-author Christophe Jakubyszyn, just named political editor of top French TV channel TF1, ‘wrongly’ claimed to have held several ‘exclusive interviews’ with her for the book.
Mr Jakubyszyn insisted he had met the first lady ‘several times’, adding that in France today, ‘for viewer’s information, one is allowed to breach the off the record rule’.