The 320-page book "Merci Pour Ce Moment" (Thank You For This Moment), written by French President Francois Hollande's former companion Valerie Trierweiler is displayed in a bookstore in Paris, September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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France's former first lady on Thursday found herself facing a maelstrom of criticism for her kiss-and-tell memoirs about her tumultuous relationship with President Francois Hollande.Allies and even enemies and former lovers of Hollande, already suffering from a record-low popularity rating, rallied round the beleagured head of state, depicted in the book as uncaring, cold and scornful of the poor.Hollande even won backing from an unlikely source in the shape of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, normally one of his fiercest critics, who dubbed Trierweiler's book a "dishonour for France".Hollande's previous partner Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children whom he left for Trierweiler, shot down as "rubbish" one of the book's most damaging claims -- that Hollande, who became France's first Socialist president in nearly two decades when he was elected in 2012, secretly despised the poor.Trierweiler, now 49, got together with Hollande in 2005 while he was in a relationship with Royal -- herself a former presidential candidate -- and the pair began a secret liaison.
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