French President François Hollande is at risk of losing his carefully constructed “Mr. Normal” reputation to fewer than 140 characters.
Hollande’s four children are reportedly refusing to speak with his live-in girlfriend, 47-year-old journalist Valérie Trierweiler, over an ill-advised tweet. Last month, in a jealous spat, the first lady messaged her support for the political rival of Ségolène Royal, the children’s mother and a former presidential candidate. Royal subsequently lost her re-election bid for parliament. Ever since, a family feud once contained behind the doors of the Élysée Palace erupted into what the French media is calling the “Tweetweiler affair.”
Thomas, Hollande’s eldest child and a lawyer, told the magazine Le Point last week that her comment “pained me on behalf of my father, who absolutely detests anyone talking about his private life.” He added: “It destroyed the normal image he had constructed,” though he later claimed his remarks were taken out of context.
Trierweiler was notably absent when Hollande visited with the Queen last week at Windsor Castle, though the couple were together at the Bastille Day military parade on July 14. Trierweiler is promising to count to 10 before publishing: “I’ll twiddle my thumbs before tweeting,” she said last week.