Newly single, former French first lady visits India for charity events


A day after splitting up with French President Francois Hollande, former first lady Valerie Trierweiler began a new stage in her life Sunday with a charity visit to India.

Back home, Hollande faced a new showing of discontent with his presidency as some 17,000 people marched through central Paris, angry at his handling of the stagnant economy, high unemployment and high taxes.

The ex-first lady arrived in Mumbai after a flight from Paris in which cabin crew limited access to reporters aboard the flight.

Trierweiler is on a long-scheduled humanitarian mission in India, which she maintained despite having just emerged last week from a weeklong stay in Paris hospital. Trierweiler was hospitalized with what aides described as shock and the blues after a French gossip magazine published images that it said proved Hollande was having an affair with an actress.

Aides said Trierweiler, a career journalist, is limiting her activities in India, and won’t visit a Mumbai slum as scheduled. She was scheduled to visit a nutritional center at a hospital and attend a news conference and gala dinner Monday, in conjunction with aid group Action Against Hunger.

“These last few days have been difficult. But today she is serene,” Trierweiler’s chief of staff, Patrice Biancone, said during the flight from Paris. He said her office as first lady will be formally eliminated Wednesday.