French First Lady leaves hospital

January 19, 2014 - 6:54:51 am

French President Francois Hollande kisses a child while meeting the families of Gendarmes after an inauguration ceremony in Vigeois, central France, yesterday. 

PARIS: President Francois Hollande’s partner emerged from a week’s stay in hospital yesterday as the French leader faced calls to clear up his personal life after revelations he had an affair.

De facto First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, who was admitted to hospital on January 10 suffering from nervous exhaustion and low blood pressure, left the hospital yesterday afternoon, a source in her office told AFP. 

The source said she had gone directly from the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital to a presidential residence in Versailles where she will “rest for a few days”. Concern had been mounting for Trierweiler, 48, after she took ill following the revelation that Hollande, 59, had been having an affair with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet. On a visit yesterday to his political stronghold of Correze in central France, Hollande again did not comment on the revelations, focusing instead on local issues in a speech in the town of Tulle. But even longtime allies were saying the president needs to deal with the scandal.

“France’s political situation requires all of the president’s attention and all of his time, so obviously it would be best for everyone if he can resolve the problems in his personal life under good conditions,” said Tulle Mayor Bernard Combes, a member of Hollande’s Socialist party.

At restaurant La Taverne du Sommelier, where Hollande has a permanent table, owner Cecile At said the president needed to put the scandal behind him.

“Francois Hollande is a very friendly man but Madame (Trierweiler) kept her distance, she did not seek people out,” At said. “The time has come for our president to make decisions on his personal life and for the debate to be closed — that there be no more rumours or photos.” Hollande has said he will clarify his relationship with Trierweiler before a trip to Washington next month but has refused any further comment on a scandal that has generated global headlines. In his first trip outside Paris since the scandal broke, Hollande focused mainly on rural issues, saying he opposed calls to do away with some local administrations. AFP

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