Hollande's son gives scathing interview about Trierweiler

Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 01:00

FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE’S eldest son has publicly attacked the country’s “first lady”, accusing her of destroying the president’s election-winning “normal image”.

Thomas Hollande says he and his brothers and sisters had made it clear they no longer want to see their father’s partner, Valérie Trierweiler, after she indicated through a tweet that she looked forward to the defeat of their mother’s political hopes.

Ms Trierweiler (47) expressed support for the rival of Mr Hollande’s former partner Ségolène Royal days before France’s legislative elections last month.

Ms Royal (58) went on to lose her parliamentary seat and her ambition to become the speaker of France’s Assemblée Nationale vanished with it.

In an interview with the news magazine Le Point, Thomas Hollande (27), who was active behind the scenes in both his parents’ election campaigns, shatters any attempts by the Élysée Palace to paper over the domestic-turned-political spat.

“What I find reproachful about the tweet is that it put the private life into the public domain,” he told Le Point. “It pained me on behalf of my father, who absolutely detests anyone talking about his private life. It destroyed the normal image that he had constructed.”

Thomas Hollande said his father was “stupefied” by the tweet, which was reportedly posted after his father and Ms Trierweiler fell out over the president issuing an official message of support for Ms Royal, who was standing for parliament in the coastal constituency of La Rochelle.

Shortly afterwards Ms Trierweiler sent a message supporting Ms Royal’s rival, Socialist party dissident Olivier Falorni, who went on to secure a convincing victory.

“I knew that she would do something one day, but not such a huge blow. It’s staggering,” said Thomas Hollande, one of the Hollande-Royal couple’s four children.

He said it was “only logical, no?” that he and his siblings no longer wished to have anything to do with Ms Trierweiler, a journalist with Paris Match magazine, adding: “What matters is that relations with our father return to normal.”

Thomas Hollande, a lawyer, said his father had asked him not to “add fuel to the fire” over the tweet, which caused a national scandal.

Le Point said the president was likely to refer to the tweet during the traditional July 14th Bastille Day speech, in which he is expected to clarify Ms Trierwieler’s role.

The president’s son, however, had clearly ignored his father’s advice not to rake over the ashes of the row. Speaking of Ms Trierweiler, he told Le Point the current situation was causing instability. “Either she’s a journalist, or she has an office at the Élysée ... and, above all, no more tweets,” he said.

He also said his mother had not abandoned her political ambitions, suggesting she could take up a government post. “A minister? Why not, in a few months? In politics, one is never dead.”

Never far from Hollande’s side during the long election campaign, Ms Trierweiler’s absence has been conspicuous since the offending tweet.

On Monday Mr Hollande travelled to London to meet David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth without his partner. French commentators also pointed out that she had not accompanied the French leader to the G20 summit in Mexico. – (Guardian service)