Emmanuel Macron’s wife was his teacher, she’s 25 years older than him

Since I’m sort of obsessed with the French presidential election, I’ve been reading a lot of the American-media coverage of the candidates and their campaigns. Emmanuel Macron, the independent candidate who is running against fascist Marine le Pen, has already been referred to as a potential “French JFK.” He’s good-looking and photogenic, with a youthful, rigorous and TV-friendly vibe. Which is probably why I was curious to learn anything about his wife. Was she the French Jackie Kennedy? Which is probably why I completely misread this headline as “Emmanuel Macron is married to a high school teacher.” I thought, “wow, that’s so nice, he’s married to a teacher!” No, that wasn’t the headline. The actual headline is “Emmanuel Macron married HIS high school teacher.” Seriously.

On Sunday, the first round of voting in the French presidential race narrowed the candidates down to infamous far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and the front-runner, centrist independent Emmanuel Macron. As Macron moves closer to the presidency, one petit fun fact about him is making the news cycle: He’s married to a woman 25 years his senior, who also happened to be his teacher back in high school.

In a story that would likely sink a candidate’s chances in a more uptight country (uh, here), the 39-year-old Macron first met his 64-year-old wife, Brigitte Trogneux, when he was 15. More specifically, she was a drama teacher and he was playing the lead role in the school’s adaptation of the Milan Kundera play, Jacques and His Master. If you were wondering how this story could possibly get more French, Trogneux is reportedly from a family of “respected chocolatiers in the northern French town of Amiens.”

Trogneux was married at the time, and though there are rumors that they had an affair, it’s unclear when their romance actually began. They wed in 2007 and Macron now has several step-grandchildren. In a recently published book, Macron is reportedly quoted as saying, “Nobody would call it unusual if the age difference was reversed” — and, well, he does have a point.

[From NY Magazine]

If it was JUST the age difference – he’s 39 years old, she’s 64 – I would shrug and say “that’s unusual but different strokes, etc.” Like, if they had met when he was in his early 30s, who cares? But the fact that they met when he was 15 and she seemingly left her husband for him, maybe??? I don’t know. If they married in 2007, then he was 29. How long were they together before they married? No one knows. This story reminds me a bit of Aaron Taylor Johnson and Sam Taylor Johnson.

Also: Marine Le Pen has “temporarily stepped aside” as the leader of the National Front. Somebody *taps nose* is trying to look like they aren’t a fascist ahead of the election.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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165 Responses to “Emmanuel Macron’s wife was his teacher, she’s 25 years older than him”

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  1. Jenni says:

    And here’s to you, Mrs Robinson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know (Wo, wo, wo)
    God bless you please, Mrs Robinson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    (Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)… LOL.

    • naomipaige says:

      LMAO!

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      I think about “Stacey’s mom” every time I see a photo of that couple.

    • Peggy cook says:

      It astounds me the bias against older women! A lot of this from other women. Why can’t older women be seen as sexy and beautiful and desirable. Why must there always have to be other reasons why a younger man is attracted to an older woman i.e. he must be gay or he is just using her etc. No wonder most men won’t date women over age 34! Talk about a double standard!!

      • TyrantDestroyed says:

        This is not a case against older women… If you read the whole story it mentions that at the time he was 15 and she was over 30 plus she was his teacher. If he was 30 nobody would care but an underage high school kid that has a relationship with a professor is hardly accepted or legal in many countries. And it applies the same for older men preying young girls so the sexism case doesn’t work here.

      • Jamie says:

        Seriously Peggy cook I agree with you! My fiance is almost 12 years younger than me…I’m 39, he’s 27. We’re very much in love and get along perfectly. Why is it a big deal that I’m older? Though…I was never his teacher lol :D

      • tw says:

        Excuse me? She was 40 and he was a 15 year old minor when they met. Her daughter was in his class, the same age.

      • Wellsie says:

        Errr…. record scratch Peggy… the age thing is whatevs. It’s that she was his teacher. If the genders were reversed this would be a bigger deal, n’est-ce pas?

      • tw says:

        Exactly, Wellsie. A 40 year old male teacher and a 15 year old female student would be a bigger deal!

      • Snowflake says:

        The bias against women over 30 is ridiculous. When i was dating at 32, I had guys my age going after early 20s women. It was very discouraging, but then i met my now husband. He wanted someone his own age. Then i realized those men were shallow, immature and not looking for a relationship. Don’t cry over those men, wait for a real man. Theyre out there

      • Doula says:

        This is not about an older woman dating a younger man. She was married, his teacher and he was a teenager. If your teenage daughter was dating her married teacher, I think you would feel differently.

      • Truthful says:

        errr… actually he met her when he was 15… fell in love with her… but didn’t tell her and came back for her when he was 23.

        So now what’s the problem (cough cough… covering for blatant sexism

        ps: I am french

    • xpresson says:

  2. Susie says:

    This is frenchier than frenchy French!

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    Oh Lord. I’m sure someone (a French reader probably) can shed some light on this but do we really think they waited until he was 18? I don’t know, this just seems so wrong. Also, “respected chocolatiers”? Do they mean successful?

    • Arlene says:

      Pretty sure age of consent in France is 15 though. No excusing it, you understand, but looking at it from a legal framework.

      • MinnFinn says:

        So no laws forbidding teacher-student stuff because imbalance of power?

      • gc says:

        @arlene: Age of consent is 18 in France not 15

      • LaBlah says:

        No Arlene is right in that the age of consent in France is 15, 227 of the Penal Code is the relevant legislation. However it also sets out that if someone has any legal authority over someone aged up to 17 then sexual relations are prohibited.

    • justine says:

      there are very much weird stories about them. But I hope it’s not what will decide the french election, i hope we will smarter than that.

      • Kitten says:

        From the way my French relatives speak about politicians, they’ve always given me the impression that they care less about infidelity or relationship superficialities than they do about political experience and competence.

        That being said, I’m not sure you can call a 40 year old woman dating a 25 year old a “relationship superficiality”. IDK…

      • Kata says:

        In my experience, unless it’s something really messed up, most people in Europe don’t care about a politician’s personal life. That’s ore of an American thing.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @Kata: I think that’s the way it should be TBH, unless the person actually running for office has sexually harassed or assaulted someone.

    • Anatha says:

      She said when she first saw him he shock her world. He was 15 and they worked on a school play together. From what I get his parents thought he was dating his classmate (her daughter) and when they found out they sent him to Paris to finish school. She said that they only phoned for two years until he was finished, but their link was too strong. (Her words.) She then left her husband and moved there soon after to live with him. Only got divorced in 2006 so that’s why it took them so long to become “official”. Even after being married they knew that it wasn’t usual and they waited two years, before he introduced her as his wife at an official event. It’s definitely suspicious. The age difference is one thing, but he was her pupil! That is highly irresponisble (to stay polite). Seems though that it works for them and 20 years later it is too late to judge.

      • senna says:

        Thanks for the French gossip. I teach university students, undergraduates and masters students, and I can’t imagine abusing my power over any of my students in that way. I’m 10 years older than them, on average, and while there are bright, worldly and savvy students in the course, some of them seem so intellectually and personally unformed that it would be verging on irresponsible, IMHO, to date them. And these are 22-26 year olds.

        I think if this lady really loved her student, she would let him live an age-appropriate life with someone else.

      • Shambles says:

        Senna

        My second year of college, one of my professors became infatuated with me. He was 14 years my senior. Though it was legal, like you said, the way he acted was so irresponsible, and the thought of that man makes me extremely uncomfortable to this day.

      • NtSoSclBtrfly says:

        Shades of Mary Kate Letourneau and Vili Fualaau.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        I do think there can still be consent and a lack of blackmailing/special treatment between adults even with a power imbalance, but the problem is their probably are a lot of people who would exploit that situation.

      • Dee Kay says:

        I had a student (college student) who had met a woman 16 years older online when he was about 14, and she basically groomed him to love only her. In college, he came to me (a grad student advisor) and confessed that he had kissed another girl in his dorm (someone his age), and he felt super super guilty because he had promised his girlfriend (16 years older) that he would never ever be with anyone else or fall in love with anyone else. His parents had no idea about this girlfriend and didn’t find out about her until my student introduced them at his college graduation. They’ve been together ever since, so yay for love etc., except that I really believe strongly that this woman exercised undue influence over a child and prevented him from ever having peer relationships in high school and college.

    • arbelia says:

      Yes they were at let romantically involved when he was 16. Everybody thought he was dating her duaghter who is his age. And whe he turned 18 he annouced his mother he still loved her and wanted to be with her. Now they’re together for more than 20 years , and their family is totally Ok with it( his mother and his wife are very close, and he’s very close to his stepchildren who are his first supporters).

    • QueenB says:

      To be fair even if you wait until 18 thats pretty creepy still. Like did they have a countdown like New Years eve?

      • MinnFinn says:

        LOL

      • Elisa the I. says:

        It might be creepy but not illegal as the age of consent in France is 15 (in my country it’s 14).

      • JaneFr says:

        In France age of consent maybe 15, but sex with an underage (18) student falls into the corruption of a child or sexual abuse by a person in authority – That still 2 to 7 years !

    • bunny ears says:

      I feel really gross about this, It reminds me of the Mary Kay thing with the student here in the States,

      The cynic in me thinks we’re hearing about this now is because Le Pen’s preparing to run a smear campaign of sorts… someone tell me I’m paranoid and I’m wrong.

      • arbelia says:

        nope it’s very well known in France. She’s a big part of his PR. He talks about her a lot ,they made covers together. THey even were pics of him feeding her baby grandchild.

      • Anatha says:

        You are wrong. Macron and his wife talk about it all the time. They sell this story as him knowing what he wants against conventions and will do everything needed for what is right and good. They are this great love story, so they fought for it against the odds.

      • Esmom says:

        bunny ears, I thought of the same thing. Although LeTourneau was a middle school teacher, I think, and I’m not sure if her victim/husband was even a teen when they started.

      • M.A.F. says:

        I believe the Mary Kay’s then-student-now husband was 13 when they started. I think she even went to jail for a while then they got married soon there after.

      • Snazzy says:

        Kind of reminds me of Celine Dion and René in some ways …

      • zxc says:

        Vili Fualaau was 12 when Mary Kay started pursuing him, and wiki says they started having sex that year. She got pregnant soon after. WTF.

        And yes, she did go to prison. For a short while first, then again for seven-and-a-half years because right after she left jail the first time, she got pregnant again…

    • Sara says:

      He is known for being gay and has a long term BF. I don’t think we French people care about his wife much. She openly jokes about how much plastic surgery she gets so I find her rather funny.

      • JaneFr says:

        That’s the smear campaign….

      • Des says:

        This “open gossip” is literally from a 4Chan board that was strategizing how to spread rumours about him being gay / cheating on his wife / cheating on his wife with his stepdaughter in order to sink his election. Google it.

    • Snazzy says:

      So I asked a French friend about this, and here was her response: “In fact at 15 he made advances, but she pushed him away saying it was inappropriate. She forbade him to see her, and so he said he would come back for her when he was allowed to (as in when it was legal). He did so at around 20.” She told me she loved his tenacity, and it was an important attribute to have in a politician. So there you go, for what it’s worth.

      She said there’s an interesting documentary about it.

      • LizB says:

        Sorry, but your French friend is wrong.

        Anatha has the correct story.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Yikes. If anything sexual or romantic happened *on HER end of things* while he was still underage and her pupil, (even though people here are saying the age of consent in France is 15) I do think that’s creepy, unethical, and predatory on her part. But if she didn’t become sexual/romantic with him until they were reunited after he had already graduated and was 19 or 20 like people are saying, then I don’t care.

      • JaneFr says:

        @LizB . You and Wikipedia may think what you want. And you might be right, but the official story, the one they both tell in interviews is as Snazzy said. She even said that she was impressed by his au revoir when he was transferred from his normal and provincial high school to the best high school in Paris ” you’re not free of me, I’ll be back and I’ll marry you.”

      • Truthful says:

        Excactly ! THIS is the real story ! People are now making things up.But this is the one we have over here. She rebuked him at first and he came back for her in his twenties.

    • Narak says:

      “In a story that would likely sink a candidate’s chances in a more uptight country (uh, here), the 39-year-old Macron first met his 64-year-old wife, Brigitte Trogneux, when he was 15.”
      But this country elected a man who thinks to “grab ‘em by the pussy” is ok? Ridiculous.
      Yes, respected chocolatier means that they are successful and respected for what they do.

    • Truthful says:

      @littlemissnaughthy:

      did you ask for a french reader?? :)
      Actually he met her when he was 15, went on to university and came back for her at the age of 23… she wasn’t even aware that he had a thing for her (his words)

      people try to find a creepy , abnormal underneath to the fact that she is 24 yrs older

  4. Maya says:

    This age gap I can overlook as long as the racist Marine doesn’t get elected.

    • justine says:

      Yes totally :)

    • hmmm says:

      Yes, in the big scheme of things, it’s icky but not dangerous to humanity and the planet.

    • anon says:

      You will ignore their predatory relationship, because it serves your political ends?

      • Rochelle says:

        Considering he is hardly the predator here, anon…

        You can hardly accuse him of being the predator as a 15 year old towards his 25 years older teacher. So it is not such a moral judgement on him, is it…

      • Des says:

        @anon The fact that his wife preyed on him vs. the election of a neo-Nazi as French Prez at a delicate stage of world history? In a heartbeat!

  5. Anitas says:

    So they met when he was underage *and* she was his teacher too. That makes her twice as creepy.

    Le Pen’s move is supposed to make her more palatable to third-candidate voters who she needs to win over. Ugh.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Yeah and his comment “no one would care if the ages were reversed” um excuse me? Yeah, I would still care. Someone in their 40′s lusting after a TEENAGER is disgusting and predatory no matter what the genders in play are. I don’t think this should reflect on his worth as a candidate though. I do feel sorry for him because I feel she is a predator that groomed him and he wasn’t given a chance for a normal coming of age and later settling down.

      • Dee Kay says:

        “I feel she is a predator that groomed him and he wasn’t given a chance for a normal coming of age and later settling down.”

        YES to this. He may be happy and that’s great, but he *was* preyed upon nevertheless.

  6. Honeychurch says:

    Somebody’s traced origin of this story to 4Chan. https://twitter.com/sturdyAlex/status/856571608374366209

  7. Megan says:

    He’s right. If he was 64 and his wife was 39 no one would be talking about it.

    • Anatha says:

      If he was a 39 year-old teacher dating the 15 year-old classmate of his son, people would talk. – If it makes them happy (and it certainly seems that way) it is fine, but it isn’t surprising or sexist that people talk about it.

    • ell says:

      that’s really not true though.

      • Kitten says:

        People would absolutely be talking about it because the older woman/younger man combo is still highly stigmatized.

      • Anitas says:

        I agree, I think people are going to talk about a significant age gap regardless of who’s younger and who’s older. It’s just that the comments are still mostly derisive about women and less so about men. If she’s younger, she’s a gold-digger, if she’s older, she’s some sort of sex-crazed cradle-robber. Men are often cheered on regardless of their position. Although in my social circle at least, people are becoming much more skeptical towards men in the older man/younger woman pairing, especially when there’s a clear power imbalance.

      • detritus says:

        i dunno, look at the Celine thread. Most people are still willing to rewrite grooming as a romance if the age difference is the right direction.

      • Cherise says:

        Just to add that there are plenty of similar stories except with the genders reversed and they are hardly a big deal. Celine Dions marriage is treated with great reverence even though it was way creepier than this given how dominant a manager is in an artists life. Sinatra was Mia Farrows dads friend, they first spoke when he once called the house looking for her dad. Elvis and Prisilla and about a dozen directors and their “muses”.

      • tmc says:

        It is true that Celine Dion is a good comparison. No one blinked at that for the most part.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        It does seem like young men (talking 18-25-year-olds) who get with someone older at least get to be judged as sex-loving (albeit immature), experimental young guys with sexual agency. 18-25-year-old women who get with someone older are either judged as damaged, exploited, preyed-upon abuse victims with daddy issues and no agency or hoodwinking, one-track-minded gold-diggers and ‘sluts’ who are setting feminism back. Older parties seem to get criticized for dating/banging 18-25-year-olds no matter what their gender is, but usually the criticism is different. The older women are seen as sleezy as in ‘loose’ instead of rapists, but they’re also seen as doing it only because they want to prove how sexy men find them (because you know, women have no sexual desires or curiosities, just a desire to please males) and labelled as bad mothers to their kids for it. The one little exception recently was Mel B and her 25-year old nanny. Lorraine didn’t get the usual misogynistic golddigger/sl*t/anti-feminist tropes, but people were falling all over themselves to make Mel B out to be a rapist for having consensual sex with an 18-25 year old by using softer words like ‘sexual predator’, ‘abuse’, and ‘lured’, saying she was to blame for any mistreatment Stephen Belafonte may have dealt out toward Lorraine, and erasing Lorraine’s sexual agency by ignoring her willing and eager participation in sex with Mel B throughout her early 20′s.

    • Aren says:

      If the roles were reversed she would be in jail. But because he was a boy, people assume he was in a dominant role and not abused.

    • Em' says:

      To be fair though most of us do not give a sh!! : he’s the one pushing their couple down our throat with tabloids covers.
      None of the other (ten!!!!!) candidates publicized their significant other during the campaign. (Well we talked a lot about Penelope Fillon but that’s another story :-) :-)
      In France, families and couples don’t hold the same place in a campaign as in the US. It really all started with Sarkozy. And Macron have happily played this game for a few years now.

  8. spidey says:

    Makes me think ‘baby mama or mama baby?’

  9. original kay says:

    It’s all so very creepy and wrong. I don’t care what the age of consent is, she was his teacher and thus in a position of power over him, of influence.

    I don’t know how this influences his job though

    • arbelia says:

      This is very well known in France. Actually iit was a big partof his PR. They made many magazine cover together. He talks about her a lot.

  10. Chaine says:

    No two bones about it, if this romance happened in the US in the modern day, teacher would end up in jail. In my state, this is illegal even after the student is of age of consent because of the power dynamic of the teacher/student relationship.

    • Anatha says:

      It is illegal in France as well. Not the age gap, but the teacher/student relationship. If the student is of age then the teacher has to transfer, if they want to be involved.

    • MinnFinn says:

      There is a US teacher Mary Jo something who got pregnant by her iirc 13 year old student. They put her in jail and he impregnanted her again. They have 3 kids.

      I’ll google it. Link is forthcoming.

      Gah, her name is Mary Kay LeTournea. Her student was 12!! when he got her pregnant.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Kay_Letourneau

      • bluhare says:

        They’re still married too.

      • MinnFinn says:

        I know! They did an interview maybe 5 years ago. Did you see that? It saddened me but my alter ego the kitchen table psychologist was fascinated.

      • pinetree13 says:

        I remember that. He seemed so sad at how his life turned out. As if he had the mental maturity to understand the consequences of impregnating her at that tender of an age. So sad.

  11. Myrto says:

    There are rumours in France that Macron is gay or bisexual because his wife is older than him and he’s so good-looking and young. I mean I know somebody who works in politics who told me that Macron was definitely gay. I mean, maybe he is but I think this has a lot to do with the fact that his wife is older. You know, like when people claim Hugh Jackman must be gay because how could a gorgeous guy be with a older, less attractive wife? Ugh. That said, it would be pretty cool if he was bisexual (not gay, because then his poor wife) although he would probably never come out and say it: even though private life is pretty sacred in France, I don’t think people are ready for a bisexual French president.

    • zee says:

      Ooh, I do love political gossip alongside my serving of regular politics! I’ve heard those rumours, but don’t really give them much credence other than they make for an interesting garnish to the story. (edit: although reading a few comments below, perhaps I should reset my gossip-baseline-credence threshold?)

      The older wife= husband must be gay is a sexist trope I wish would become a relic. That and the whole “cougar” thing. Reading about this online has also introduced me to some particularly awful turns of phrase regarding her age.

      • arbelia says:

        They’re totally Fake News. A big newspaper wrote about these rumors, how it came suddenly one week out of nowhere from some people who alleged it without proofs. Then everybody came to talk about it, and they even forgot who started it.
        2 journalists said it was a friend of President Sarkozy ( this guy himself labeled it ” Macron Fake”) who spread the rumor to elected representatives. The same month the hossip grew, Sarkozy gave an interview whe he said that Macron was ” both man and woman, androgynous” ” and that he didn’t force you to make a choice”

      • Zee says:

        @arbelia Thanks for the info. So a case of deliberate distortion and innuendo. Political campaigns are always so full of shadiness.

    • Arpeggi says:

      And this is what happens whenever a somewhat good-looking guy decides to be with an older or less good-looking women. Hugh Jackman anyone?! This is a sexist and gross stereotype and it needs to stop.

      Besides, French people really DGAF about the marital status/sexual orientation of politicians. All the Presidents have had side pieces, many had “bastard” kids, Hollande was caught bringing croissants to his mistress and no one ever fussed over the fact that he and Ségolène were never married (except for some pretty hardcore christians perhaps but who cares about those?). Sarko is responsible for putting the President’s love life in the spotlight (though it backfired when Cecilia dumped him in the middle of the campaign) and his entourage is responsible for this rumor. It’s just ridiculous.

      Yes Macron is with his high school teacher and it seems odd. But they’ve been together for 2 decades and he is a grown-up man who doesn’t seem traumatized or brainwashed so I’ll give them a pass. I still hate his work in the Hollande govt and wished some better candidates (Taubira?!) had ran, but hey! He’s still better than Le Pen

    • Ann says:

      A 39 year old man is neither “young” nor is he good looking!

      • Annetommy says:

        It depends on your perspective. It seems young to me. And it may be old for a tennis player but it would be young for a president. I think he’s attractive. Hope he makes it.

      • Syko says:

        I agree. In fact, compared to his two predecessors, he’s remarkably good looking. And from 74 years of age, 39 seems almost a child to me.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      If he was bisexual and having an affair it would be bad for his “poor wife” too. But I really would not have that much sympoathy for her in this case considering how they became a couple.

  12. Margo S. says:

    I’m sorry but NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO. That just is wrong. She’s 64?! He’s 39. They met when he was 15?! She was his teacher?! So weird.

  13. Char says:

    I don’t know how someone could consider this creepy, but be ok with Celine Dion & her husband. I find both to be incredibly inappropriate. If, in either case, they had met when the younger party was of legal age, then I would feel differently, even though the age gaps seem extreme. But in any case where the older party is in a position of power over the younger party, I can’t agree that it’s “ok” because they are in love. Mary Kay Letourneau & Vili Fualaau are married now & in love, so that should be ok then?

    • Dee Kay says:

      I am *super creeped out* by the case of Celine Dion and her husband. I will be *forever* creeped out by that. He was not only much older, but he was her agent, her Svengali. He *made* her (career-wise). So he made her into his ideal woman, and a star…and then he convinced her that she was in love with him when she was still a teenager. WHO ELSE WAS SHE GOING TO FALL IN LOVE WITH???? She owed everything to him, everything!!! Such an abuse of power.

  14. Originaltessa says:

    Ewwwww…. Seriously? Her student? That’s just all kinds of scandal.

  15. Barbs441 says:

    I’m ok with it as long as Le Pen doesn’t get elected.

  16. SaraInAToga says:

    Frenchie here. The media have been chomping at the bit to out him. They outed a young broadcasting boss (Mathieu Gallet, who heads Radio France) in the process…
    The next two weeks should be interesting…

    • zee says:

      Oh, outing people is awful. As you say, these next few weeks should be very interesting. I wonder how dirty both sides, and the media, are going to play this? And for whose benefit? Election campaigns are always so interesting.

    • Ina says:

      Gallet was never in the closet.

    • arbelia says:

      Those rumors are shit ( he may be gay or bi or watever), but those rumors precisely were spread by a friend of Sarkozy.2 journalists “outed” the friend, and some newspaper said that Macron even confronted Sarkozy about it.

      • SaraInAToga says:

        @Ina : Gallet wasn’t in the closet, you’re right. But he still wasn’t happy about being thrown into the spotlight and having his private life discussed this publicly. I understand he had been conducting his business pretty privately prior to this…

        @Arbelia : I doubt the rumor originated from Sarkozy and his friends. I can’t look for the footage right now, and it may have been deleted, but Ariel Wizman over a year ago was already making snide comments about Macron’s private life live on national television… Yes, the same Wizman who said Lambert Wilson was gay on live television several years ago! That d-bag…

      • arbelia says:

        The rumor began to spread in 2016 but not only because of Wizman, it went very public some weeks ago , and Macron adressed intellegently , but it began way before .If we believe Liberation, Le Monde, L’Express and some others,Sarkozy’s friend spead the rumor last year ( 2 journalists named that friend of him). And Sarkozy himself in may 2016 gave an interview about “androgynous Macron”, being “both man and woman”, and how he was liked “because he didn’t want to chose”. Quite snide remarks. I think Wizman just fed the rumor. I don’t think he was the only one though. I didn’t know about this thing about Wilson btw.

      • arbelia says:

        Actually there’s an article in Le Monde from the end of 2016 ( october/november) that explicitly says that the rumor was spread by the reight wing , particularly by this this guy, Phillippe Vilin.
        http://www.mediapicking.com/medias/files_medias/le-monde—dra-le-de-guerre-contre-macron-0991084001479491074.pdf

      • arbelia says:

        here it is

      • SaraInAToga says:

        Thanks, Arbelia, that was very interesting. So basically the rumors started as soon as he launched his campaign… to discredit him, I agree. Sarko and his ilk are trash! And that Villain [typo, but I'll leave it!] guy who is gay himself… trash! Just like Wizman.

        But I think both things can be true: yes, the rumors exist because people wanted to destroy his campaign, and yes, he is queer and hiding it. For people wondering, other than his rumored rship with Gallet, I saw this earlier today about his rings and him going to clubs: http://awesomefrench.tumblr.com/post/159958892956/is-macron-considered-to-have-sex-appeal-in-france

  17. Jessica says:

    The more I read about this guy the more I realize he would only be elected in France running against a Nazi like Le Pen.

    • tracking says:

      +1 Normally I’d be outraged (a la Mary Kay LeTorneau) but I’m afraid all my outrage must be directed toward Le Pen and her ilk.

    • M says:

      Disagree. Please don’t forget that he won the first round of the presidential elections with 24% (vs. 21.7% for Le Pen, 19,x for Fillon and Melenchon career politicians with way more experience and in Fillon’s case money than Macron).

      I personally voted for this man based on his platform (central with social influences), European ideals, strong support for science and what I gleaned of his character. His personal life played no role in my choice as I believe what he does behind closed doors is his business and unless there is a sex tape out there of prostitutes peeing on him that may end up in the hands of the Russians, I don’t think his personal life will have any bearing on his presidency. The only thing playing against him is his inexperience, but our last 4 presidents were highly accomplished politicians who accomplished very little imho.

      • Halina says:

        Are you crazy M?? Everyone knows you can only have TWO presidential candidates. That’s how it works in USA and USA = World.

      • I Say Nay says:

        @Halina The US actually had five presidential candidates.

        Mrs. Clinton
        Gary Johnson
        Jill Stein
        Evan McMullin
        a cheeto

        Of course only two stood a chance but that’s a different discussion.

  18. Dids says:

    I feel like there is such a polar opposite between politicians these days… Extremist and angry on one side and cute and empty on the other. (Dont get me wrong, I like my cute and empty canadian PM, but smart and true would be nice too.)

    • robyn says:

      Cute does not equal empty imo. Sometimes smart is being able to quietly straddle the extremes in search of balance.

  19. Eleonor says:

    Celebitcher living in France here !

    Alors les filles:
    If I got it right: she was his school teacher yes. He fell for her at the age of 15, he decided he would marry her. They started a relationship, then at a certain point (I haven’t menaged to have a clearer idea of this thing, some ruomors say his family sent him away, hoping distance would have stopped the relationship) he went to Paris to complete his education, and once he finished he wanted her back, and married her aged 29. Emmanuel homewrecked Brigitte mariage.
    The end.

    • Kitten says:

      Wait he married her when HE was 29 and she was 54?

      • bluhare says:

        Yes. Just googled it. He was born in 1977 and they married in 2007.

      • Eleonor says:

        Yes in 2007.
        They have been married for 10 years now.

      • Kitten says:

        So if I’m understanding this properly (and please feel free to correct me), he met her when he was 15 and she was his 40 year old teacher, he had a crush on her (?) and decided that one day he was going to marry her, they later reunited when he was in his late-twenties and she was in her early fifties?

        See, if this is the narrative then I don’t have an issue with it. It’s just the “rumors that there was an affair” when he was 15 that makes me side-eye.

        IDK…I’ve said it before but my BF is 8 years younger than me and for the most part, I find it encouraging to see May/December romances where the woman is older. That being said, there is nothing encouraging about an adult woman in a position of power pursuing a 15-year-old child.

      • Anatha says:

        Only that they reunited when he was 19 or 20, not late 20s. She left her husband and moved to Paris to be with him. They had an affair and she divorced ten years later to marry Macron.

      • Kitten says:

        @Anatha-Oooohhh ok. Messy AF but not as bad to me as a 40 year old teacher dating her 15 year old pupil.

      • Anatha says:

        We don’t know if they already dated when he was 15, though it seems they did. She said that she fell for him when he was 15. He said he fell for her at the same time. Are we to believe that his parents sent him away even though nothing had happened?

    • Snazzy says:

      Yes!! I said the same thing above!! It’s what my frenchie friends told me as well :)

    • original kay says:

      yeah, she wrecked her own marriage.

  20. Linabear says:

    “Nobody would call it unusual if the age difference was reversed.” Actually, I think critics would be more rabid if a male drama teacher ended marrying his 15 year old pupil. That’s so rapey.

  21. Ina says:

    It must be cultural but it is a non story in France. People have other problems to deal with than Lady Macron.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      right? it wasn’t even on the news when the French elections were covered in my country. As long as politicians don’t mess up completely in their private life, no one really cares. The same goes for the partners/wifes/husbands of politicians. E.g I have never even seen a pic of our chancellor’s wife.

  22. Veronica says:

    That has quite the touch of unsettling to it, doesn’t it?

  23. Syko says:

    John Oliver told us this last week. I don’t see it as a big deal, but then I dated men in their 20s and 30s when I was in my 50s. The French have a much more accepting view of sexual quirks anyway.

    • Veronica says:

      There is a world of difference between a 50 year old dating a 30 year old than an older woman in a position of power getting involved with a teenager who is subordinate to her. If he married her at 29, nobody would do more than blink and move on. It’s the teacher-student relationship that potentially began when he was only 15 that’s offputting.

  24. Faun says:

    Kaiser if you’re obsessed with the election why not tune into France 24 or the other European news channels? If you have a Roku they’re all available (and in English).

  25. Apples says:

    If he was 64 and his wife 39 NO ONE would say anything about it.

  26. Mel says:

    Meh…maybe she’s his beard, maybe they have an open marriage, maybe they have a traditional relationship…
    A president’s relationship status really has no bearing for us. Case in point: when Sarkozy “reunited” with his former wife Cecilia just for the end of the campaign, only for us to get the divorce announcement a few months into the presidency. We all knew he had managed to get her back to be elected but it would not last and he looked like a fool when she left him. Not only that, the manipulation (and the assumption that we were stupid) was a tough pill to swallow. Be married, don’t be, get divorced. Who cares?!
    You know what is usually the deal breaker for us (hence why they keep it under wraps and we learn about it later)? when the TAX PAYER’s money is used even just a tiny bit for the president’s love life. What did we learn afterwards? well, what didn’t we learn, really? secret children: check, mistresses: big check, secret affairs…yawn, boring…just NOT with MY money!

  27. slowsnow says:

    And today in this thread CB presents the cultural clash between the USA and France!
    One thing about the French culture, but also many other countries around here, I find precious: to separate private life from politics (unless the person is committing a crime or has committed a crime while in power).
    As an aside, this teacher-student thing is quite traditional. In my school there was a maths teacher who dated a 17 year old student and I think the school knew. My husband had a thing with one of his teachers. I think he was 18 and she was married… It irks me, for sure. I did wonder, and I was a kid, how it could be possible for the maths teacher to be allowed to date an underage kid. And then I went on to date a 20 year old when I was 15…

    • bluhare says:

      When I was i high school the band teacher was messing with one of the cheerleaders. It was an open secret and they did get married. I think they also got divorced, but it was quite a few years after they were married.

  28. Monsi says:

    To the journalist/person that wrote that line about how that would sink the candidate’s chances in a more uptight country, like the US…. Has she/he been living under a rock for the past year?

    Trump bragged on tape about sexually assaulting women and he got elected anyway!

    This is nothing compared to what we already know about Trump..

    If they are happy, good for them, and I hope he wins in the second round of the French election

    • robyn says:

      Sadly and inexplicably, Trump is a rare bird who can get away with what no one else could. It is a bit disconcerting about his wife being involved with Macron when he was so young. I don’t like it but at least she is a supposedly wiser “older” woman behind a young man who finds himself in a strange position. The European Union will hang by a thread if France doesn’t vote for him so undoubtedly Russia is actively looking for ways to highlight anything that will disgrace him. It’s worrying. I hope he wins!!!

      • JaneFr says:

        The good thing is, as many as said, we do not really care about our politicians private life. Private life is in our constitution more or less the way freedom of speech is in yours ( US).
        “C’est leurs histoires de fesses”. I do not know of a good equivalent in english. It means that’s just sex, and we have more to worry about. While it might make delightful gossip, we do understand that, as long as it does not impact his work, it’s none of our concern.

        She’s not the one going for president, he is, and whether or not they started their relationship while she was his teacher, he did not do anything illegal or wrong there. So it is a non story.
        Plus they seems happy, stable, he’s very proud of her. In fact he is really “that my wife, the woman I love and I do not give a F*ck about your opinion” which looks romantic and please a lot of women.

      • Dee Kay says:

        I agree with JaneFr as far as personal responsibility goes. Whatever shady-ness is in their past, he was the minor and the subordinate. He was not the predator. And since a vote for him would not be a vote for a predator, I hope that voters are not swayed by this. (Unlike the U.S., sadly, where a vote for Trump was indeed a vote for a predator, and people voted for him anyway!!!!)

    • anon says:

      He did not brag about sexually assaulting anyone. He said that women would let a famous, rich man, assault them, for access to money and power. Big difference between the two.

      • tw says:

        “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

        To just start kissing and “do anything” you want and not “even wait” for consent is sexual assault.

  29. aqdgsbh says:

    If a teenager came on to me I would feel mildly nauseous. They are children, FFS.

    • detritus says:

      I would be strongly concerned, and probably address it immediately
      It’s pure self interest to allow that to stand imo

  30. Chelly says:

    If he’s a man of his word & good politician, then by all means, run.
    But as far as this story goes, I just find it gross. More so on his wife’s part. I always find those (whether male or female like let’s say Woody Allen) who take advantage of their positions over these children should be in jail. Not to mention they robbed them of experiences….they lived their teen lives, they could have said NO & let those kids live theirs as well. To hear he came on to her & she couldn’t resist, give me a break. This story is not cute, not romantic, & shouldn’t be bragged about. I just can’t.

  31. Amelie says:

    I was wondering when the American media would cover this story because I knew they would have a field day with this. I found this out last fall when I was Wikipedia-ing the candidates and trying to figure out who I would vote for. I was kind of “EH?” when I first read it but it does seem that Macron’s family tried to separate them by sending him to Paris to finish up high school. Whether they were intimate before he was 18 is the gray area that is foggy to everyone. Honestly this does not bother me that much. Celine Dion met her manager husband when she was 12–she supposedly didn’t become involved with Rene until she was 18 and everyone seems to give that a pass and portray it as this grand fairytale romance.

    A bit different but Melania is about 24 years younger than Trump. Yes I realize it’s different because she met Trump when she was in her 20s but this hardly gets covered in the American media. It is more acceptable for a man to marry a younger man than the other way around. In any case, Macron’s love life, while colorful, does not affect the way I will vote in the final round. He has been very open about his wife and does not hide her, which is why this isn’t really a skeleton in his closet.

    • Ana says:

      It’s the same in Spain, Macron’s love live goes in the gossip sites but that has nothing to do wiht the elections, which are covered as regular news and his wife is not commented there.

      As a general rule, romance and sex have nothing to do with politics and are covered separately.

      • Amelie says:

        Yeah I actually lived in Spain for awhile and noticed the same thing. I was there right at the end of Zapatero’s term and I discovered the story about the time his two daughters were photographed in the US while Zapatero was visiting at the White House while Obama was president. Apparently that was the first time his daughters had ever been photographed publicly and the fact that they were both dressed in a punk/gothic way made huge waves in Spain since the Spanish public had never seen them before. It IS a pretty hilarious picture and I laughed for a good 5 minutes the first time I saw it.

      • TiredOwl says:

        That is so refreshing. I wish we could unbind politics from celebrity.

  32. Frigga says:

    Sorry, I don’t care if they’re in France. She abused her power as his teacher the moment she decided she wanted to have him…at 15. It’s disgusting. But he is more than grown enough to make his own decisions and was when they married, so whatever…he’s still a million times more preferable to La Pen. France, DO THE RIGHT THING.

  33. Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    Just looked up a cross-section of the age of consent across Europe:
    In Austria, Italy and Germany the age of consent is 14; in Sweden, France and Denmark it is 15 – and Spain recently raised its age of consent from 13 to 16. Meanwhile in Turkey and Malta, teenagers have to wait until they are 18 for sex to be legal.

  34. Minxx says:

    Interesting story. A bit odd but then they are together 20 years, 10 years married. Different strokes, I suppose. I’m sure it would be a huge scandal in the US though.

  35. DiamondGirl says:

    I don’t see Celine as having the fairytale romance. Age does matter, because biology doesn’t discriminate. Now she’s alone with three children, two of whom are very young.

  36. Who says says:

    Would we be having this conversation if he was. 64 and she was 39. No.

    • Ama says:

      EXACTLY ! Thank you!
      It just says they met when he was 15!
      I know a woman who “met” her future husband when she was 12 or so and he was 30 years her senior, the family stayed in contact, but lived in different countries. They fell in love when she was 24.
      They are still married and have 2 kids now. And no, he didn’t leave his wife for her…

  37. Babs says:

    Hahaha the french JFK yeah right. He wishes. He is not even good looking, he is just not old.
    And he sucks at what he does.
    All politics aside, Jacques Chirac in his heydays was the sexiest politic man we ever had. Handsomeness, style and panache.

    • Dottie Hinkle says:

      JFK wasn’t even that attractive. The standards are so low for men, it’s ridiculous.
      Don’t be cockeyed and have all hair on your head and voila! You are now considered a handsome man.

  38. Parigo says:

    I live in France so just some observations here:
    1. They have been very smart about this whole thing. They know it’s scandalous and have let themselves be papped, cover front pages of gossip rags and have given interviews about their relationship. Hollande with his actress mistress should have been so open.
    2. Thus no one cares in France, that’s not what’s gonna effect their vote.
    3. She is a very smart woman. He would not be “here” if it wasn’t for her. They have put up a united front and common strory that they “believed” in each other from the get go. Whatever their private life is like, publicly they are 100% putting up a solid front. And she is 100% integral to the inner workings/decisions of his campaign.
    4. Despite the drama her kids seem ok with it. Her daughter works for the campaign.
    5. Ok yes, the beginnings are creepy, but he was of legal age and they’ve been together for over 20 years.
    No FN, between a neo-liberal and a nazi, the choice for France should be obvious.

    • Parigo says:

      Also, long time lurker here. I applaud your decision to go political. In this crazy world the worlds meet.

  39. Sayrah says:

    This is no different than the celine and Rene story yesterday. I know I’m supposed to be understanding that they did ultimately have this great love but the creep factor I get from both the couples is so strong.

  40. ickythump says:

    Yea both this and Celine/Rene have been spun into these great love stories – ultimately they are both an abuse of power, although Macron had a better chance of getting out of it. I never thought Trump would be elected president of the US so there is still a chance that le Pen could become the French President. Sobering thought but we can take nothing for granted these days.