London: French President Francois Hollande’s girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, has spoken out about the Twitter scandal that has engulfed her partner’s fledgling presidency, saying she will “count to ten” before sending another.
She was recently attacked for sending a message supporting a rival of Segolene Royale in Parliamentary Elections last month.
Royale is the mother of Hollande’s four children and a bitter enemy of the new First Lady, despite the fact that they are both committed Socialists.
Royale eventually lost the election, and her political career has almost ended.
Last week, Thomas Hollande, the eldest son of the President and Royale, was among those who criticised Trierweiler, confirming that he never wanted to see her again after she destroyed his father’s “Mr Normal” image.
Trierweiler chose the Bastille Day weekend to tell the BFMTV station that she would try and control her urge to tweet instantaneously.
“I will turn my thumb seven times before tweeting,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.
The comment was a play on the popular saying that you should turn your tongue seven times before saying anything controversial.
“I will count to 10 before tweeting,” she said.
Despite the conciliatory words, she did not apologise to Royale, and her supportive message remained on her public Twitter account.
It was left to the 57-year-old to try and defuse the row.
In a televised Bastille Day address, he said: “I am for a clear distinction between public and private life. I believe private matters should be regulated in private and I have asked those close to me to respect this.”
He also announced that there would be no official “First Lady” status for Trierweiler, despite the fact that she retains an office in the Elysee Palace and “will be at my side when protocol demands”.
He also took conscious care not to be pictured with Trierweiler during the Bastille Day parade in Paris on Saturday.
The President also left the divorced mother of three at home in Paris when he travelled to London for meetings with David Cameron and the Queen last Tuesday.
However, she was with Hollande when he attended more low-key events around France over the weekend, including a visit to the western port of Brest, and to an art gallery in Avignon, in the south.
First Published: Monday, July 16, 2012, 14:28