France

President Hollande "hurt" by ex-partner's book

French President Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 9 September 2014.
French President Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 9 September 2014. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

French President François Hollande said he had been particularly "hurt" by his former partner's book which claims he secretly despises the poor.

Advertising

"I don't want people to be able to say or write that I don't care about suffering in society, because that's a lie that hurts me" said President Hollande in an interview with the weeklyLeNouvel Observateur published on Wednesday.

In parts of the interview published online, Hollande defended his commitment about the needy.

"This attack on the poor, the most disadvantaged, I took it as an attack on my entire life", said Hollande.

"Yes, I met people suffering the worst kinds of hardships, worn down by life. They had trouble caring for their teeth. That's the sign of the worst kind of misery. I rubbed shoulders with these people, helped them, supported them", he said.

In the memoir, entitled "Thank You for the Moment", his ex-partner of nine years Valérie Trierweiler writes of Hollande that he "portrayed himself as the man who doesn't like the rich. In reality, the president doesn't like the poor".

Trierweiler's book has become a bestseller in France since it was published last week said her publishers, who have ordered a further print run of 270,000 copies.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning