The Upshot

Ooh-la-la: first lady of France Valérie Trierweiler tweets, shocks the nation

The Upshot

France's new first lady hasn't been at her post for long, but already, she's causing a stir. Valérie Trierweiler, a journalist with the French magazine Paris Match, ascended to the public role when her companion, Francois Hollande, was elected president earlier this year.

The avid Twitter user posted a statement of support to Olivier Falorni, the candidate running against her husband's ex, Ségolène Royal, in western France. The message caused a frenzy. To break down why, please bear with us: It's a little complicated and a lot French.

Francois Hollande used to live with Ségolène Royal, a socialist politician who is the mother to his four children. The two never married. Trierweiler, a divorced mother of three, has been with Hollande since his relationship to Royal ended. The two also remain unmarried. Trierweiler and Royal aren't exactly buddies. The 58-year-old Royal was devastated when after 30 years, Hollande left her for the 47-year-old Trierweiler in 2007.

Hollande, for the record, has given his support to Royal, his baby mama, for the contest in La Rochelle. The socialist party, in fact, asked Falorni to get out of the race to improve Royal's chances. He refused. Failure for Royal to win the election may keep her out of the national assembly.

Some suggested the tweet was the catty swipe of a jealous lover. A senior presidential aide told the French newspaper Le Monde,"I am completely blown away. I expected a government crisis, not a domestic one. It's amazing."

Trierweiler has reportedly stood by her tweet. But maybe it's not as French as we thought. As a writer at the Guardian described the catfight: "From now  on, it's 'Dallas' at the [presidential palace] Elysée."

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