French ex-president Hollande weds actress Julie Gayet

·2-min read

After a romance that made headlines around the world when it was revealed in 2014, ex-president Francois Hollande has married actress Julie Gayet at a low-key ceremony in his political fiefdom in central France.

The news was announced to La Montagne newspaper by the mayor of Tulle, Bernard Combes, with a picture of the couple showing the groom in a suit and his bride in a white dress climbing the stairs of the local town hall.

They married Saturday "in a private ceremony," the mayor's office in the central Correze region told the paper.

Little was revealed about the guest list beyond the presence of French singer Benjamin Biolay who worked with Gayet on a film in 2021.

Hollande, who has never married before, had an affair with Gayet while president and in a relationship with journalist Valerie Trierweiler, who was France's de facto first lady at the time.

In January 2014, French glossy magazine Closer published bombshell photographs of Hollande arriving for a tryst with Gayet on a scooter at an apartment near his official residence in the heart of Paris.

The images, accompanied by a story replete with salacious details about bodyguards being dispatched to buy croissants for the pair in the morning, dealt a severe blow to Hollande's credibility.

Trierweiler went on to write a best-selling tell-all memoir that recounted how she tried to commit suicide in the presidential bedroom after the media revelations.

Hollande has four children from his relationship with long-term former partner Segolene Royal, a one-time rival in the Socialist party.

Gayet has two sons with former husband Santiago Amigorena, an Argentinian screenwriter and producer she divorced in 2006.

The 50-year-old -- who celebrated her landmark birthday the day before Saturday's wedding -- remained a low-key presence throughout the latter part of Hollande's difficult time in office.

The couple agreed to their first joint photo session only in 2018 once Hollande had left office, having ended his five-year term in power with record low approval ratings.

In a rare interview the same year, she described Hollande's time as leader as a period of "crazy violence" which included a series of jihadist attacks that cost hundreds of lives.

"I tried to give energy to the president, to take care of him, to be there to listen," she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

"Since I met him, it's given me wings," added the star of Netflix drama "The Perfect Mother" who is an increasingly influential film producer. "I love his way of thinking, of being, his humour."

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