In “The Last Secret”, journalist Solenn de Royer reveals the story of Claire, a young girl who had an affair with François Mitterrand during the last years of her life.
It is a love story that has remained hidden for over thirty years. In “The Last Secret” *, the journalist at “Le Monde”, Solenn de Royer recounts the affair that François Mitterrand had with a young girl named Claire – a pseudo – fifty years his junior. The young woman was by his side for eight years, from 1988 to 1996, witnessing the end of the Elysee Palace and the end of life of the former head of state.
In the columns of “Elle”, journalist Solenn de Royer tells this intriguing story which begins with the fascination of an 18-year-old girl from a provincial background for the Head of State. Between 1988 and 1991, she got in her way about fifteen times. She finds it “brilliant, intriguing, brilliant”, says the author. With a childhood friend “they will hang out on rue de Bièvre (the mythical apartment of François and Danielle Mitterrand, Editor’s note). “They wait for him for hours, pass his house fifteen times, looking busy. They also get on his way during official trips and inaugurations, they want to make themselves known to him. And it works! They stood out and six months later were invited to their first lunch at the Elysée ”.
She runs after him for four years before a relationship is born. François Mitterrand plays the father, the friend, the lover, the pygmalion. He calls her every day, morning and evening. To support her story, Claire provided the journalist with her detailed diaries, precise descriptions of Elyos life, the tapes of her answering machine and photos of her lover posing for her. Their relationship was also known to those very close to the president, to staff at the presidential palace and even to Claire’s building concierge.
“I can’t give you anything. These will be moments, fragments that you can experience intensely, or not,” Mitterrand told him.
From the start, François Mitterrand announces the color: “I can’t give you anything. These will be moments, fragments that you can experience intensely, or not, ”he says. But he keeps his secrets. Claire will learn on television that he has been operated on for prostate cancer. And it is by reading the press that she will discover the existence of Anne Pingeot and Mazarine, their daughter.
The young woman will also be a witness of the last moments of the man. They see each other for the last time on December 15, 1995, at a restaurant, both. “He calls her until the end, until he can’t hold a phone anymore. During their last conversation, the handset slips from his hands, someone else hangs up, it is a few days before his death “, January 8, 1996. At his death” the bodyguards are organized so that ‘ she can see her lover one last time. For them, there was no question of her being excluded from her death. They are the ones who take over from Mitterrand ”.
Today Claire is married and a mother. Her husband knows about this story, her children don’t. “She is around 55 years old, she works in the administration and does not want her revelations to weigh on her career”, indicates the journalist. She did not seek fame back then and hardly seeks it today.
“The Last Secret” *, éd.Grasset, released on October 6
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