PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - French “First Lady” Valerie Trierweiler will continue to work as a journalist for Paris Match, the glossy news magazine that she criticised for publishing a front page story about her and her partner President Francois Hollande before his election.
Paris Match’s editor said he saw no conflict of interest and that the 47-year-old, who met Hollande years ago during her career as a political reporter, had signed a new deal to cover culture, reviewing books and art exhibitions.
The twice-divorced mother of three and unmarried partner of Hollande had long insisted that she wanted to remain a working mother, even if she now has a staff in her informal role as First Lady at the presidential Elysee Palace.
“It’s something of an unprecedented situation for us,” Paris Match editor Olivier Royant told Europe 1 radio, which like the magazine is part of the media empire of Lagardere, a conglomerate that also has a stake in Airbus.
Royant said that Trierweiler stopped covering political affairs for Paris Match in November, shortly after the 57-year-old Hollande became the Socialist Party candidate in an election he won on May 6.
She had since been working from home with a laptop and excluded from the weekly magazine’s editorial meetings, he said, adding: “These precautions were taken to protect (Paris) Match and her from all suspicion of conflict of interest.”
Trierweiler criticised Paris Match in March for publishing a front-page photograph and story about her and Hollande during the election campaign.
“What a shock to find yourself on the front of your own publication. Angry at finding my photo used without authorisation or even a warning,” she tweeted at the time.
Prior to his relationship with Trierweiler, Hollande had four children over 25 years living with Segolene Royal, a fellow Socialist who herself ran for president in 2007. Shortly after the failed endeavour, Royal announced that she and Hollande were splitting up.
Paris Match editor Royant said he discussed the new contract with Trierweiler last Thursday. “She now seems to be able to draw the dividing line. It’s been an accelerated learning process over the past three weeks,” he said.
For the years ahead, he said: “Coverage of the presidential couple will remain fair and independent ... We have a saying at Match that goes: ‘there’s only one star here and it’s the publication’”.
In much the same way that Hollande says he wants to be a “Mr Normal” president, partner Trierweiler has said she doesn’t want to be boxed into the role of “second fiddle, first lady”. (Editing by Rosalind Russell)