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French President Hollande chooses his First Lady

Valérie Trierweiler (L), François Hollande, and Julie Gayet.

Love triangle: Valérie Trierweiler (L), François Hollande, and Julie Gayet. Images: Getty.

Mr Hollande, 59, is understood to have chosen his alleged new girlfriend – French actress Julie Gayet – over France’s de facto First Lady, Valérie Trierweiler.

It was revealed earlier this month that the president had allegedly been having a secret affair with the 41-year-old Ms Gayet. As the news of the scandal broke, along with photos published in a glossy French tabloid magazine, Ms Trierweiler was admitted to a Paris hospital where she spent several days being treated for “extreme fatigue”.

When asked at a press conference last week whether Ms Trierweiler was still France’s First Lady, Mr Hollande said: “Everyone in his or her personal life can go through ordeals — that’s the case with us.”

He then promised to “clarify” the situation in public before an official visit to Washington on February 11.

Ms Trierweiler, 48, who writes for Paris Match magazine, left hospital on the weekend to recuperate at a presidential retreat near the Palace of Versailles, while Mr Hollande made a decision about their relationship, it was reported.

The president has now made up his mind and is in “negotiations, including legal ones” to end his nine-year relationship with Ms Trierweiler, according to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

The presidential love triangle has rocked the Elysee Palace and created headlines around the world.

One of Mr Hollande’s advisors reportedly said he should remain a “bachelor President” and not move Ms Gayet into the presidential palace too soon or risk disapproval from the public.

Mr Hollande, who is an unpopular leader in France, has seen no further drop in his approval ratings after news of the affair.

It is unknown who will accompany President Hollande on his official trip to the US next month which will include a state dinner at the White House.

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