'Don't worry about me' says France's ex-First Lady

Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:37pm EST
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By Aditi Shah

MUMBAI (Reuters) - France's former first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, said on Monday she was doing fine after her split from President Francois Hollande, telling reporters during a trip to India that she felt "useful" doing charity work.

The break-up of the couple, who were not married, was confirmed on Saturday by Hollande, who said in a curt statement he had "ended his partnership" with the 48-year-old journalist.

That announcement came less than three weeks after the tabloid Closer set off a media storm by publishing photos of what it said was Hollande, 59, making nocturnal visits to the apartment of French actress Julie Gayet, 41.

Closer's pictures of a helmeted figure, arriving and leaving on the back of a scooter, drew mockery from critics who called it an embarrassing vaudeville.

Trierweiler, who spent eight days in hospital after news broke of the alleged affair, followed by a week in seclusion, was in India with the charity Action Against Hunger.

In her first public comments since the scandal broke, Trierweiler did not mention the break-up but gave a tongue-in-cheek thank you to the French journalists who crowded the press conference for their "interest in malnutrition."

"I feel very well, it feels good to be here," said Trierweiler, when asked about her health. "I have the impression I'm being useful for something."

"Don't worry about me," said Trierweiler, dressed in a bright pink blouse.   Continued...

Valerie Trierweiler, former companion of French President Francois Hollande, speaks during a news conference organised by Fight Against Hunger in Mumbai January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui