Coup de theater: the former president married Julie Gayet, his partner, on the sly. Paris Match tells you behind the scenes of a surprise wedding.
Don’t call her Mrs. Holland! Although she now has the ring on her finger, Julie Gayet does not want to give up this maiden name which is also her actress name. In front of the journalists, who question her at the entrance to the Latreille village hall, in Tulle, where, this June 12, at the end of the morning, she came to vote, she justifies herself with a shy smile. Arrived a few minutes earlier, on foot, wick in the wind, François Hollande is waiting for him to put his ballot in the ballot box. Rumor has it that the ex-president was hesitant to introduce himself. He finally supported Annick Taysse, the socialist dissident candidate. A perilous gamble, as confirmed by the result of the early evening: Ms. Taysse only obtained 9.96% of the vote, far behind the Nupes candidate, Sandrine Deveaud, in the lead with 25.4%, and LR Francis Dubois (20.62%).
At the exit of office n° 5, the newlyweds lend themselves to a few photos. Residents are there to offer them “all their wishes of happiness”. A lady offers them perfume as a wedding present. A few more selfies, then they settle down at La Taverne du Sommelier, a brasserie where the former president has a table in his name, to have a coffee with the mayor of the city, Bernard Combes. This couple who has always fled the light would he no longer fear curious looks?
See as well : François Hollande and Julie Gayet married, back in pictures on their discreet story
Since the beginning of their relationship, revealed with fury and a crash in 2014, François Hollande and Julie Gayet strived to appear only rarely together. Too modest, certainly. In his “Lessons from power” (ed. Stock, 2018), the former head of state explained that after his departure from the Elysée, they had agreed to “go from secrecy to discretion”. Gently, without rushing anything. And the one who has long refused to be called “the president’s companion” is now his wife.
We will still have to wait for the big raouts: Saturday, June 4, we said “yes” without anyone knowing anything about it. The ceremony at the town hall of Tulle did not disturb the Corrézienne tranquility of this town of barely 15,000 inhabitants. No onlooker seems to have seen the bride, sculptural to climb the steps of the town hall in a vestal dress signed Hermès, a brand she loves. Even the Coussaert house, a florist where the actress has her habits, had no idea that this immaculate bouquet, ordered a week earlier, was going to be used for such a happy event. Julie Gayet had claimed to want to decorate her table for her fiftieth birthday, celebrated the day before, Friday June 3.
The family of the former socialist leader had not made the trip
Only about ten people, including security guards and town hall employees, attended the exchange of consents. The family of the former socialist leader had not made the trip. “I was not present, neither my wife, nor any of my brothers and sisters, confirms Thomas Hollande, the eldest of the siblings. The ceremony was held in a very small committee. “No trace either of Tadeo and Ezechiel, the two sons that Julie Gayet had with Santiago Amigorena, Argentine filmmaker, naturalized French, from whom she divorced in 2006. In an interview granted in 2020 to “Madame Figaro”, the actress However, he declared that he did not want to “hide” them: “During a conversation, we talked about the care I had taken to protect my private life and theirs. One of them then told me that he might have had the impression that I was hiding him more than I was protecting him. That, perhaps, I was ashamed. I was horrified! »
The guests were counted on the fingers of one hand: four witnesses, two per husband, no more, no less. François Hollande has designated his most faithful friends, Jean-Pierre Jouyet and Jean-Louis Audren. The first is his only confidant as well as his double politician, met in the regiment then found on the benches of Ena, before he accompanied him to the Elysée as secretary general, from 2014 to 2017. Jouyet has long facilitated the clandestine loves of the president. As in August 2015, when the French on vacation on the beach of Brégançon hoped to see the new couple hand in hand and that he hosted him in La Croix-Valmer, behind the high walls of the property bought with his wife, Brigitte Taittinger, the other guardian angel, also invited to the wedding. Jean-Louis Audren, he is a high school friend with whom Hollande has done the four hundred blows, including an unforgettable road trip to the United States, between odd jobs and seedy motels. If, after the bac, one joined the faculty of medicine to become a surgeon, and the other Sciences po, they never separated.
On Julie Gayet’s side, two essential traveling companions were also chosen: a certain Catherine, a childhood friend, and the singer Benjamin Biolay, whom she met on the set of “Clara et moi”, d ‘Arnaud Viard, in 2004, and has not left since. Many artistic projects have forged their complicity, like the next film by Sébastien Bailly, “Like an actress”, soon to be released, in which they give the reply.
Faithful among the faithful, Bernard Combes, who succeeded François Hollande as mayor of Tulle in 2008, officiated at this civil wedding. He alone was authorized, after a few days of delay, to post a photo of the event on his Instagram account: we see the bride and groom from behind, seated facing the city councilor. Another snapshot was sent by the town hall of Tulle to the Corrèze office of “La Montagne”, a local newspaper to which François Hollande likes to give the first of his confidences. This time, however… “We didn’t know anything on D-Day, confirms one of the editorial journalists. The town hall only sent us the information afterwards. “Bernard Combes will agree to evoke a speech with a very personal tone. But motus, he refuses to say more: like the other guests, he has sworn to remain silent on this day.
More than five years after returning the keys to the Élysée Palace, François Hollande has still not given up on several of his presidential infatuations, starting with this culture of secrecy that surrounds his couple, but also at this distance to which he compels his family in the most important moments of his life. In May 2012, neither his daughters, Clémence and Flora, nor his sons, Julien and Thomas, yet so involved in his campaign, had attended his investiture. Only Valérie Trierweiler, his companion at the time, had walked the red carpet rolled out at 55, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. Although invited, the children had explained that they did not want to “be overexposed”.
The statesman has long hated this institution
Nothing changes therefore… except that François Hollande has finally agreed to pass the ring on his finger. The statesman has long hated this institution: with his previous companions, he had refused to take the plunge. Even with Ségolène Royal, despite twenty-five years together and their four children. But Julie Gayet, of a sentimental nature, dreamed of it: “She is asking to do it. It burns ! “conceded Holland against Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, in 2016 (“A president should not say that …”, ed. Stock).
The ex-president finally gave in. For two years, he had been privately discussing this possibility. The pandemic has continued to push back the deadline. Today it is done. A wedding, yes, but on his terms: after the town hall, no big party, only a dinner in the house he acquired on the heights of Tulle, four years ago, and which Julie Gayet redecorated with cellar in the attic. On the menu: beef ribs bought that morning at the market. All in simplicity. You don’t get married at 67 like you do at 30.