Valerie Trierweiler regrets anti-Segolene Royal tweet
French first lady apologises after expressing support for Segolene Royal's rival in recent election
THE NEW first lady of France, Valerie Trierweiler, has admitted she "made a mistake" by supporting Segolene Royal's election rival Olivier Falorni in last week's French elections. Falorni defeated Royal with 63 per cent of the vote.
The rivalry between Trierweiler and Royal, a former Socialist presidential candidate, has kept French gossip columns buzzing. Royal, who is the mother of President François Hollande's four children, had her former partner's backing to become speaker of the National Assembly. That opportunity evaporated after Royal's election defeat.
A 'friend' of Trierweiler – believed to be an Élysée Palace aide – told Le Parisien: "She did not properly calculate the consequences her tweet would have on the authority of the head of state, on the Socialist Party, her children and those of François Hollande."
Hollande was forced to refuse to give his ex-partner a job because she lost the La Rochelle seat in western France so heavily. Royal, 58, branded Trierweiler a traitor and said she felt "murdered" by her, The Daily Telegraph says.
She said after her election defeat: "I did not want to react yesterday because the blow was so harsh. But that does not mean I didn't feel murdered by it, I am not a robot. I demand respect as the mother of a family whose children hear what is said."
The dispute goes far beyond politics: the president's children allegedly have refused to speak to the 47-year-old first lady.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told Trierweiler, who has refused to close her Twitter account, to "know her place". An aide confirmed she was being encouraged to "remain in the shadows" in future.
Le Parisien quotes a friend of Trierweiler saying: "Valerie is still devastated. She fears she has portrayed a very negative image.
The fallout with Francois Hollande was stormy. He was furious. It's clear that it can never happen again."
Royal had said she was "mortified" by the "violent blow" from Trierweiler. After her electoral defeat she quoted the French writer Victor Hugo, saying: "Traitors always pay for their treachery in the end."