PARIS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Valerie Trierweiler, the partner of French President Francois Hollande, is suing three glossy magazines for breach of privacy after they published photographs of the presidential couple in bathing suits, her lawyer said on Thursday.
The magazines - Closer, Voici and Public - printed paparazzi photographs of the couple on their covers that were taken at a distance while Hollande and Trierweiler were holidaying at Fort Bregancon, a presidential retreat off France's southern coast.
Another magazine that also published the pictures, VSD, was found guilty of breach of privacy on Tuesday and ordered to pay Trierweiler a 2,000 euro ($2,500) fine, well short of the 30,000 euros she had requested, a senior VSD editor told Reuters.
"We have launched three other suits against three gossip magazines: Closer, Voici and Public," Frederique Giffard, Trierweiler's lawyer, told Europe 1 radio.
French law is among the most protective of people's right to privacy in Europe and celebrities are routinely awarded damages over the publication of paparazzi pictures. Courts typically demand that magazines publish the ruling on their front cover.
"We decided to pursue magazines that published the photos on their covers and which tried to sell, to catch the reader's eye with these photos," the lawyer added.
Trierweiler's out-of-wedlock relationship with Hollande is a source of fascination in France, prompting the publication of three books exploring her testy relations with Segolene Royal, his previous partner and the mother of his four children.
A journalist for Paris Match magazine who remained on its staff after Hollande's election in May, she chose not to sue her employer despite the magazine publishing a photograph from the same vacation series.
Giffard said Paris Match was not sued because the magazine had been more discrete.
"There is no exception when it comes to Trierweiler's employer," she said, adding that Public is owned by the Lagardere media group, which also owns Paris Match. ($1 = 0.7915 euros) (Reporting By Chine Labbe; Writing by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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Valerie Trierweiler is the fifth of six children. <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/23/francois-hollande-partner-first-lady" target="_hplink">According to the <em>Guardian</em>,</a> her mother worked as a cashier and her father -- who stepped on a landmine when he was 13 -- died when she was 21.
After studying at the Sorbonne, Trierweiler became a political journalist and worked for the French magazine <a href="http://www.parismatch.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Paris Match</em></a> and the cable network <a href="http://www.direct8.fr/" target="_hplink">Direct8.</a> Trierweiler covered politics for about two decades, but announced at the start of Hollande's campaign that she would shift away from politics to report on the arts. Trierweiler has vowed to keep working for <em>Paris Match</em> as Hollande assumes the presidency, making her France's <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/valerie-trierweiler-france-first-lady?" target="_hplink">first woman to work while serving as 'Première Dame'. </a>
Trierweiler was reportedly furious when Paris Match put her on the <a href="http://twitpic.com/8ti2qt" target="_hplink">cover</a> of the magazine with the controversial headline, 'Valerie. Hollande's Charming Asset.' Upon seeing the cover, <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/valtrier/status/177689767792738305" target="_hplink">Trierweiler tweeted:</a> "Bravo Paris Match for its sexism .. My thoughts go out to all angry women."
Her Last Name
Born Valerie Massonneau, Trierweiler has been <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/valerie-trierweiler-france-first-lady" target="_hplink">married twice before</a> and has 3 children from her second marriage with journalist <a href="http://destandaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=GD33PNMDM" target="_hplink">Denis Trierweiler.</a>
Her Relationship With Hollande
Hollande and Trierweiler reportedly started their relationship in the mid-2000s, although they first met two decades before. Trierweiler was still married at the time, and Hollande was living with former French presidential candidate <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9gol%C3%A8ne_Royal" target="_hplink">Segolene Royal.</a> Hollande and Trierweiler took their relationship public in <a href="http://iphone.france24.com/en/20120313-france-first-lady-gentleman-hollande-trierweiler-sarkozy-bruni-bayrou-le-pen-aliot" target="_hplink">2010</a>. Trierweiler told Elle magazine that the French socialist was "<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/23/francois-hollande-partner-first-lady" target="_hplink">the man of her life.</a>"
After it became clear Hollande had won the presidency, <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/valtrier/status/199208369570070528" target="_hplink">Trierweiler tweeted:</a> "Simply proud to accompany the Republic's new president and still so happy to share the life of Francois."