Updated January. 27, 2014 03:23
Au revoir, Valerie!
French President Francois Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler have parted ways after an affair with an actress.
I wish to make it known that I have ended my shared life (partnership) with Valerie Trierweiler, Hollande said in an interview with Agent France Presse (AFP) on Saturday. He made clear that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not as the head of state.
His announcement came just over two weeks after the French gossip magazine Closer published claims Francois Hollande has been having a secret romance with actress Julie Gayet. He had been with Valerie Trierweiler for seven years since his separation from Segolene Royal in 2007.
Trierweiler is known to have left La Lanterne, the presidential retreat in Versailles, on Saturday afternoon. She thanked the staff of the Elysee presidential palace in a tweet. She said, Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who have sent messages of support and for my recovery I am very touched.
Even after a rumor on his affair, Hollande hesitated to split with Trierweiler. He may have felt that he could delay no longer as Trierweiler said she would make a humanitarian visit in India on Jan. 27 and 28 as the French presidents first lady. France urged the president to make a decision as Trierweiler has been funded for more than 20,000 Euros and she would officially make an overseas visit as First Lady.
Le Parisien newspaper reported that the two people made a decision over a lunch last Thursday. They agreed that she would travel to India as a private citizen and will not return to the Elysee Palace. She is likely to move to the apartment in Pariss 15th arrondissement which she and Hollande shared before he was elected in 2012.
President Hollande said in an interview with Time magazine on Saturday that he wants to focus on economic reform in France rather than his personal life. He expressed his intention that he would like to end the controversy over his affair and focus on vitalizing the economy in recession. The French ruling and opposition parties welcomed his announcement on separation, saying that they can now discuss a different topic.