Former French First Lady wants to do more charity work after India slum visit

MUMBAI (AFP) - Former French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler said on Tuesday during a charity trip to India that she did not wish to return to political journalism but would like to deepen her humanitarian commitments.

On a visit to a Mumbai slum on the second day of her India trip with French charity Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger), Ms Trierweiler told AFP that she would like to do more charity work - "especially towards poor children".

Still employed as an arts writer by the French magazine Paris Match, she said however that she did not wish to return to political reporting.

"I do not want to and it would be too complicated," said the twice-married career journalist.

She said she would continue as a journalist but that it was "too early" to have any particular projects.

Following her weekend split from President Francois Hollande, Ms Trierweiler spent much of Tuesday in closed-door meetings with experts who were briefing her about Action Against Hunger's projects in India, organisers said.

She also spent about an hour touring a slum in the Indian megacity before her expected departure late on Tuesday.

"I am very happy here, they are forcing me to leave but I do not have any desire to leave," she said.

Ms Trierweiler spent the first day of her trip to Mumbai visiting a hospital and a slum before attending a gala dinner at a five-star hotel in the evening, her every move closely followed by the media.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the 48-year-old displayed no apparent bitterness over the end to her time at the presidential palace, which came after allegations that Mr Hollande has been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet, 41.

"I was there (in the palace) for 19 months and I think I came to know people I didn't know before and even a part of me which I was unaware of. I won't be the same after this experience," she said.

She also said that it had never crossed her mind to cancel the trip despite the fact that Mr Hollande only announced their separation a day before her departure.

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world," she said.

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