Julie Gayet was probably hoping for fame and fortune when she embarked on a career as an actress, but maybe not like this.
French President Francois Hollande confirmed last week that his relationship with former ‘first lady’ Valerie Trierweiler had come to an end, though quite how amicably has been left to speculation. The cause of the split was reported to be Hollande’s alleged affair with Julie Gayet, an actress of some celebrity within France. According to BBC News, the French media have been aware of the affair for as long as two years.
Gayet’s career will now be scrutinized more heavily than ever by the world’s media, particularly if she accepts the unofficial position of French first lady. The post involves travelling around the world with the President and taking part in official engagements in the same way as the partners of other world leaders. This would be some way removed from Gayet’s previous work on the red carpets of France’s prestigious movie theaters and festivals.
Julie Gayet’s IMDB entry lists movie and television roles stretching back over 20 years. She made her debut in the acclaimed French drama Trois Couleurs: Bleu in 1993. Her most recent role was in a ‘fantasy comedy, entitled Les Ames de Papier (The Souls of Paper) towards the end of last year, the trailer for which can be seen below.
Gayet has had a colorful personal life, even before her relationship with the French President became public knowledge – she was formerly married to Argentine author and screenwriter Santiago Amigorena, with whom Gayet has two children. Hollande’s predilection for mothers knows no bounds – Valerie Trierweiler had three children of her own before her relationship with the President began in 2005.
Julie Gayet has given little away about her views on being thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks, or indeed about the relationship itself. According to the South China Morning Post, the last public comment Gayet made in relation to the story was to call President Hollande a “humble”, “fantastic” man “who is really tuned in”, in a promotional clip for his successful 2012 election campaign.
That Gayet would comment on Hollande’s qualities went largely unnoticed at the time – she is a known advocate of the left-wing and socialist causes with which Hollande filled his campaign. We can now surmise that there were a few chuckles in the news rooms of France at these remarks, however, with journalists in the know keeping tight-lipped about the alleged affair, as is traditionally the way of the French media.
However willingly, Gayet now finds herself at the center of one of the more interesting stories of Hollande’s fairly humdrum presidency. The world now waits to see how Julie Gayet will react to the prospect of becoming the new Première dame de France.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.