DESCRIBED in the French media as a “bomb” and a “shock”, former “first girlfriend” Valérie Trierweiler’s book of stormy memoirs of Elysée life hits the shelves tomorrow.
Merci pour ce moment (Thank you for this moment), of which journalist Trierweiler’s employers Paris Match have published extracts today, has been prepared over the summer in secret by an independent publishing house (Les Arènes) and printed in Germany.
Paris Match editor Olivier Royant, told Europe 1 radio this morning: “Her children didn’t know about it, her ex-husband didn’t know, François Hollande didn’t know. He found out yesterday.”
Trierweiler, who has been separated from President Hollande since January, notably recounts how she felt on finding out about Hollande’s affair with actress Julie Gayet, after the magazine Closer revealed his visits to her by scooter.
She writes: “The news about Julie Gayet is on the front of the morning papers... I break down, I can’t listen to that, I run into the bathroom. I grab the little plastic bag containing my sleeping pills... François followed me. He tries to pull the bag off me. I run into the bedroom.
“He grabs the bag, which rips. Pills scatter on the bed and floor. I manage to get hold of some and swallow what I can. I want to sleep. I don’t want to see the hours that are coming. I feel the storm that’s going to come down on me and I don’t have the strength to cope. I want to escape. I lose consciousness.”
In another extract, Trierweiler says Hollande continued to write to her after the break-up, saying he “needs me”, and asking her to have dinner with him, “that he wants me back, whatever the price to be paid”.
She says: “He says he’ll win me back, as though I was an election.”
“As far as state secrets are concerned, he [Hollande] can relax – Valérie talks about loves, break-ups and passions,” says journalist Cathérine Scwaab in Paris Match.
The extracts also deal with matters like the couple’s reactions when they first heard about Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on rape charges in the US.
However, Paris Match says it mostly reads “like a divorce trial”, ranging through matters like her “dazzling” first meeting with Hollande and her fears about the strength of his attachment to former partner Ségolène Royal, linked to him by their shared passion for Socialist politics.
The Elysée has confirmed it did not know the book was coming out.
It has a large initial print run of 200,000 and Trierweiler is said to have had an advance of around €100,000 for the book which Europe 1 claims was “almost written non-stop over this summer”.
Photo: Jackolan1 / Wikimedia Commons