François Hollande's partner Valérie Trierweiler leaves hospital


Trierweiler, hospitalised amid reports of the French president's affair with an actress, is resting at a presidential residence in Versailles.

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France’s 'First Lady' Valérie Trierweiler on Saturday left the hospital where she was admitted more than a week ago following reports her partner President François Hollande was involved in an affair with an actress, reports FRANCE 24.

Trierweiler, who was admitted to hospital on January 10 suffering from nervous exhaustion and low blood pressure, left the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital just after 14:00 GMT, France's Paris Match magazine reported.

This was later confirmed by a source in Trierweiler’s office, who told the AFP news agency the 48-year-old had gone directly to a presidential residence in Versailles where she will "rest for a few days".

Shortly after, Trierweiler made her first public comments since the scandal broke, thanking those who had sent her messages of support.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who sent messages of support... very touched," she wrote in a tweet.

Concern had been mounting for Trierweiler after she took ill following claims by gossip magazine Closer that Hollande had been having an affair with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet.

The magazine published what it said were images of Hollande making a nocturnal visit to Gayet’s pied-a-terre apartment in the upmarket eighth arrondissement of Paris.

The reports of the affair, which Hollande has neither confirmed nor denied, have raised questions about whether Trierweiler will continue to occupy the position of France’s first lady and accompany the president on state visits.

At a news conference on Tuesday Hollande refused to clarify Trierweiler’s status but said he would do so ahead of a trip to the United States scheduled for February 9th.

Hollande, who visited Trierweiler in hospital on Thursday, has remained tight-lipped on the affair allegations, invoking his right to privacy.

On Saturday, the French president visited his old parliamentary constituency of Tulle in central France. He again did not comment on the revelations, focusing instead on local issues.

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.

"François 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."

In his first trip outside Paris since the affair allegations, Hollande focused mainly on rural issues, saying he opposed calls to do away with some local administrations.

There was rare media interest for the trip to regional France, with dozens of French and foreign reporters descending on the small community for Hollande's speech.

Read more of this report from FRANCE 24.

See also:

The disturbing criminal backdrop to Hollande's secret liaison

The smokescreen of French privacy laws

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