French First Lady regrets ‘clumsy mistake’ of attacking her husband’s former partner after election

  • Valerie Trierweiler sent tweet calling on voters to back Segolene Royal’s opponent in parliamentary elections in June 
  • She has now admitted that this was a ‘clumsy mistake’
  • But Ms Trierweiler stopped short of apologising directly to the mother of Francois Hollande’s three children

France’s controversial First Lady has admitted that attacking the President’s former partner was ‘a mistake’.

In her most soul-searching, apologetic interview to date, Valerie Trierweiler said that calling on voters to back Segolene Royal’s opponent in parliamentary elections in June was the wrong thing to do.

Ms Trierweiler also confirmed that she has given up ambitious plans to host her own television show.

The 47-year-old caused outrage by turning on Ms Royal, who has four children with Francois Hollande, soon after the May presidential election which saw him become head of state.

Ms Royal had hoped to win the seat of La Rochelle, and then become speaker of the Paris parliament.

But her ambitions were foiled following the tweet Ms Trierweiler sent calling on Socialists to back another candidate.

Since then, Mr Hollande’s children have refused to speak to Ms Trierweiler, while Ms Royal’s political career has all but ended.

Referring to the tweet in an interview in today’s Ouest France newspaper, Ms Trierweiler said: ‘It was a mistake that I regret. I was clumsy and it was misinterpreted. I had not realised that I was no longer just an ordinary citizen. It will not happen again.’

There was, however, notably no direct apology to Ms Royal, who Ms Trierweiler still dislikes intensely.

In the interview, Ms Trierweiler said she had given up plans to film documentaries for the Canal+ TV company D8.

She said: ‘After thinking about it, I have decided to drop it. I have worked with D8 for seven years and we had thought about one or two documentaries on big issues such as the schooling of young girls in the world or demographic problems.

‘It would have been a wonderful humanitarian project but I understand that, for some, being the president’s partner and working in television could cause questions and problems.’

Despite this, Ms Trierweiler said she had no plans to give up working for celebrity magazine Paris Match, for which she has worked for 22 years, insisting that her writing now ‘has nothing to do with politics’.

Ms Trierweiler, who has three sons with her second husband, said: ‘I have the care of my children and I do not see how I can do that without an income.

‘France has a record for the number of working women – 85 per cent. I am one of them, it’s as simple as that. Keeping my financial independence also seems equally good for keeping my feet on the ground.’


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