French President Francois Hollande has famously been in the tabloids in recent weeks following the news that he left his longtime live-in girlfriend and unofficial first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, for a French actress, and now the news is causing some trouble during preparations for the State Dinner the White House is planning to hold in his honor next week.
Hollande reportedly ended things with Trierweiler in an 18-word note, and she recently said in an interview that she was considering writing a tell-all book that would dig into what she had seen and experienced during her time with the ruler. The veteran journalist met Hollande while working as a political reporter for Paris Match and says she was floored when she found out he had been having an affair with popular actress Julie Gayet; in fact, she spent some time in a hospital after the breakup.
“I heard rumours of course but you hear rumours about everyone,” she said in an interview. “I hear them about myself all the time. I paid no attention. When I found out, it was as if I had fallen from a sky-scraper.”
Now, those in charge of planning the State Dinner are scrambling to make changes for the big night, including scrapping 300 newly-printed invitations because they had Trierweiler's name on them and deciding whether or not to include the customary dance now that Hollande won't have a dance partner.
“That may be a bit of a protocol debacle there,” said Walter Scheib, former White House chef. “It’ll be curious to see if he asks the first lady for a dance. That would be on the front of all the tabloids — Frenchman sweeps first lady off feet!”
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