The President, his mistress and the Mob

13 January 2014

3:03 PM

13 January 2014

3:03 PM

There was a moment when it looked like French Closer had done President Hollande a favour. His poll ratings have been abysmal and the economy has tanked. What better distraction than a little ooh la la?

Scandals such as these reveal the character of a nation and its politics. If a British minister had dispatched his chauffeur to fetch post-coital croissants, there would have been delirious uproar about the misuse of taxpayers’ money. But the French have never really cared about politicians wasting their money: National Assembly Deputies take home the equivalent of £211,000 in pay, and enjoy completely unaudited expenses. Most Parisians seem more surprised that the much derided president had it in him.

After the initial tittering, the story began to take darker turns. French Closer agreed to remove it from their website after a complaint from the lawyers of Julie Gayet, the actress who is alleged to be President Hollande’s mistress. Meanwhile, the French president’s official partner, Valérie Trierweiler, was admitted to a Paris clinic on Friday. There has been vague talk from her office about her needing to ‘get some rest and have some tests done’. She is expected to be released today.


Black farce has followed the suggestion that the flat where the alleged assignations between Gayet and Hollande took place is linked to the Corsican mafia. It is claimed by French website Mediapart that the flat was made available by Emmanuelle Hauck, an actress friend of Ms Gayet’s. She was married to Michel Ferracci, who was given an 18-month suspended sentence last year for his role in an illicit gambling ring connected to the Corsican mafia. It also claimed that, after Ms Hauck left Mr Ferracci, she took up with Francois Masini. He was found dead in his car in Corsica last May. There were multiple gunshot wounds to his head and torso.

Other media outlets have suggested that the flat was the property of the wife of a business tycoon who allowed amorous politicians to use it.

This story is fantastic, like something out of a New Wave film. The President, his mistress and the Mob – the French may have many faults, but dullness is not one of them.

UPDATE: Mr S is saddened to report that Valérie Trierweiler will remain in the clinic today. She needs more rest.

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Show comments
  • Puss-in-sandals

    Dear Mr Fraser Nelson,

    I asked your helpline but no joy so far, so I’m asking you for obvious reasons: if you advertise that a gift subscription means a bottle of Champers (which I had glancingly thought was part of the gift but instead is for the buyer) — don’t you think you should state that foreign purchasers get nothing? I’m not asking for the bottle for myself, but if I can’t have one because I live in America, then I don’t see why my friend in England shouldn’t have it. My money is as good as anyone else’s, and I can’t see any good reason why he shouldn’t.

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  • Christopher Lennon

    He must have something the ladies love – tres charmant, n’est pas?

  • Eddie

    It seems that French women these days have all the resilience of a wet baguette.
    So, his partner (who used to be his mistress yet who is now replaced by a younger more glamorous model) needs some rest, because her ‘coup de bleu’ is too much, so goes to hospital – and they let her in? And no doubt her health insurance company will pay out wads to the money-grabbing French doctors too…
    Jeez, if everyone booked themselves into hospital whenever some little hiccup happened in their lives there’d be more people in than out! How weak and pathetic! I blame too much Oprah and Psychologies magazine for the victimhood-craving of all these pity party merchants! Just get on with it, FFS! Grow a backbone, girl!

  • dalai guevara

    We need to see more French subtitled movies on the BBC – it is shameful that the British populace are missing out on what you allude to, most of us simply have no idea what a French movie is, never mind the Nouvelle Vague.

  • Doggie Roussel

    Feydeau springs to mind…

  • mattwardman

    French Mistresses are like London buses. When’s the next one along?

  • John Smith

    A socialist connected with the mafia? Never!

  • Donafugata

    Presumably Valérie is at the hospital for broken egos.

  • David Booth.

    I found it so funny to see the President Of The French Republic standing outside that flat with his overcoat on and an oversized crash helmet on his head trying to look inconspicuous, pure farce!

  • kcband8

    What hypocrites the ruling class are. Do as a say, not what I do.
    And yet the French people will vote for this left wing phoney.

  • loftytom

    Technically the president did not ” have it in him”, he had it in her.
    Fnaar, fnaar.

  • MrDDavies

    Socialists love millionaires, they just hate people becoming them. As with most things, they haven’t really thought it through.

  • CharlietheChump

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer, tiny, millionaire socialist

  • artemis in france

    Couldn’t édit. I meant perks.

  • artemis in france

    She’s only stressed at the thought of losing all the perls and luxurious lifestyle which she is apparently entitled to as the First Lady (even though they’re not married). People hère find the scooter trips a bit downmarket too.

  • Airey Belvoir

    So the mistress is in hospital, shocked and distressed. Has she forgotten how she became his mistress in the first place, by displacing her predecessor, the mother of his kids? There’s always going to be a younger, prettier replacement on the conveyor belt.

    • Colin56

      What’s the French for ‘when a husband marries his mistress he creates a job vacancy’?

      • MaxSceptic

        Mot Goldsmith?

      • venyanamore

        Yes, but Hollande, being an odious progressive, is not the marrying kind. More like when “an man who is too immoral and selfish to marry the woman he has children with cheats on her with another mistress he creates a vacancy for further future concubines”. Vile, untrustworthy, man, as was immediately evident long ago. And a hopeless politician too, which is perhaps more to the point given his status as the emblem of the dignity of the Republic!

    • george

      dont think under french employment laws that Gayet can replace Trierweiler … he’d have to employ both! So two 1st ladies!

    • David Booth.

      What goes around comes around. Mistress number 1 replaced his wife and in turn is replaced by mistress number 2/3/4 etc and all with public money.

    • jmjm208

      What goes round comes round