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Hollande Confirms Separation With First Lady Trierweiler

French President Francois Hollande has announced he is ending his relationship with his partner and semi-official First Lady Valerie Trierweiler.

Hollande Confirms Separation With First Lady Trierweiler
Présidence de la Republique
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It's official: France's president Francois Hollande has confirmed his separation from former partner and the country's semi-official First Lady Valerie Trierweiler.

French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche broke the story early Saturday, reporting the couple had reached their decision over lunch on Thursday. 

Hollande's announcement comes two weeks after Closer magazine published photos of an alleged tryst between the French president and actress Julie Gayet. The ensuing scandal sent Trierweiler into the hospital for stress, and Hollande threatened to sue the outlet for invading his privacy.

So now that Hollande's separation is out in the open, what's next for the three players in this presidential love triangle?

For Trierweiler, it's a change of scenery. She's leaving France Sunday for a long-planned humanitarian trip to India. The Independent notes what would have been a symbolic outreach from France's First Lady has now turned into a private "gesture of defiance" from Trierweiler.

For his part, Hollande doesn't seem to want his private life thrust into the public spotlight again. A former editor for Le Monde told Sky News Hollande might not elect a new First Lady to replace the outgoing Trierweiler.

"He wants to be sure there's a difference between his private life and his public life. ... If he has a partner, well, she won't be attending official functions, she won't have an office, she won't have bodyguards."

As for Julie Gayet, a BBC analyst suggests the actress might become an unofficial part of Hollande's life in the future — but not until after this current scandal is a distant memory.

"Perhaps at some point she will start being seen with him, and accompanying him on trips. But probably that won't be any time soon. Right now the president would probably prefer some time tangle-free."

Hollande is the second French president to separate from his First Lady while in office. His predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy divorced his second wife Cecilia shortly after his election in 2007.