A former French government minister is demanding £120,000 in damages over ‘salacious’ claims he had an extra-marital affair with First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, the Daily Mail reports.
Patrick Devedjian denies being Ms Trierweiler’s lover nine years ago. The allegations emerged in a biography of the First Lady called The Troublemaker, which says she was having affairs with both Devidjian and Francois Hollande while married to Denis Trierweiler in 2004.
President Hollande’s 47-year-old girlfriend also denies the claims and she too is suing the book’s authors.
Devidjian’s lawyer Dan Hazan said his married 68-year-old client – a minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy – was demanding damages for defaming his character.
Mr Hazan added: ‘The authors transformed a salacious rumour into fact purely to boost sales.
‘There is not a scrap of evidence that this supposed relationship existed.’
The book – by TV journalists Christophe Jakubyszyn and Alix Bouilhaguet – claims both Devidjian and Hollande knew they were ‘sharing’ Ms Trierweiler.
But when Mr Devidjian refused her demands to leave his wife, she chose her affair with Mr Hollande over him, before finally divorcing her husband in 2010, the book says.
Ms Trierweiler is demanding £35,000 in damages for invasion of privacy and will launch a separate action for defamation at a later hearing.
Miss Trierweiler also recently sued a French magazine for publishing photos of her in her bikini while on holiday with Mr Hollande last summer – but was awarded only the ‘minimum’ £5,000 in damages.