French former First lady Valerie Trierweiler is pictured on a beach in Ouistreham, northwestern France, on August 20, 2014.
Charly Triballeau—AFP/Getty Images
September 3, 2014

France’s former first lady Valerie Trierweiller seems to have held nothing back in her new tell-all book, Thanks for the Moment, which airs the details of her break-up with French President Francois Hollande, according to excerpts published in France’s leading daily newspaper Wednesday.

“He likes to come across as a man who doesn’t like the rich,” read one extract reported by Bloomberg News. “In reality, the president doesn’t like the poor. This, the man of the Left, calls them in private ‘the toothless,’ very proud of his brand of humor.”

It was just one of many startling confessions excerpted from the 330-page book and printed in France’s Le Monde. Trierweiller, 49, said she “cracked” after news broke of Hollande’s affair with 42-year-old actor Julie Gayet, after which Trierweiller attempted to swallow a heavy dose of sleeping pills. Hollande struggled to strip the pills from her hand.

“The pills scattered over the bed and the ground,” Trierweiller wrote. “I managed to recover some of them. I swallowed what I could.”

Trierweiller also says Hollande flatly denied rumors of an affair until images of him riding a scooter to Gayet’s apartment surfaced in the news. She claims that Hollande begged to have her back at “whatever the price” while Trierweiller was still recovering from shock in a hospital.

The allegations come at a sensitive time for Hollande as he battles record low approval ratings and an open revolt within the ranks of his own party’s ministers, who dissolved his governing coalition last week.

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