French President Francois Hollande Splits With First Lady Valerie Trierweiler

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French President Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande (L) and his companion Valerie Trierweiler arrive for a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris May 7, 2013, as part of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski's two-day visit to France. Reuters

French president Francois Hollande split with his long-time partner amid his affair scandal with alleged mistress, actress Julie Gayet. The now former first lady Valerie Trierweiler left for India on Sunday after the embattled leader’s announcement.

On Saturday, Mr Hollande announced that his relationship with Ms Trierweiler has ended, two weeks after reports emerged that he was having an affair with Ms Gayet.

“I wish to make it known that I have ended my shared life (partnership) with Valerie Trierweiler,” the president was quoted by the Agence France Presse as saying.

Following his announcement, Ms Trierweiler said goodbye to her followers on Twitter, thanking the “extraordinary people at the Elysee” for their devotion.

She left for India on Sunday to support Action Against Hunger, a non-profit organisation, CNN reported.

The news of their separation came two weeks after a local magazine published photos that showed the president leaving the house of Ms Gayet after apparently spending the night in it.

Upon the request of Ms Gayet’s lawyer, Closer magazine removed the photos and the accompanying story from its site. However, it was already too late as the exposure was already read by the public.

Mr Hollande, who neither confirmed nor denied the affair, threatened to sue Closer.

A few days after the tabloid exposed the alleged affair, Ms Trierweiler was admitted to a hospital, supposedly for exhaustion. She left the hospital a week later.

Mr Holland and Ms Trierweiler, who are never married, got together in 2007, a few months after the president split with his former partner, fellow politician Segolene Royal. He and Ms Royal have four children together.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Paris to criticise Mr Hollande on Sunday. The protesters from various organisations cited the country’s struggling economy, taxes, high unemployment rate, the people’s housing needs, and lack of personal freedoms, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Hollande’s personal life was not included in the issues raised by the demonstrators.

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