Emmanuel & Brigitte Macron’s ‘love story’ is creepy as hell, actually

The French presidential runoff election is this weekend. French voters must choose between Marine le Pen, a Holocaust-denying fascist, or a centrist banker named Emmanuel Macron. Macron is getting a lot of coverage in the French and international media because A) he’s leading in the polls in many believe he will be France’s next president and B) he’s married to a woman 24 years older than him. What would have been an interesting – and perhaps “very French” – story about a marriage that is somewhat unconventional has taken a weird turn. Macron’s wife Brigitte was literally his high school teacher. They fell in love when he was 15 years old. He had to be sent away because his parents lost their sh-t. And it sounds like Brigitte was pretty much grooming him from the start, because she – the adult! – was convinced that he was a one-of-a-kind genius like Mozart.

At 15, Macron fell in love with his high school drama teacher, Brigitte Auzière. She was married with three children — and 24 years his senior. Now 64, she is married to Macron and set to become the first lady of France. In the recent television documentary Emmanuel Macron — The Strategy of a Star, Brigitte Auzière Macron says she never felt the age difference between them. She describes the bond that first formed when they worked together to rewrite a play.

“We wrote together every Friday,” she says in the film, “and little by little, I became completely subjugated by the intelligence of this young man. His mind is so full and perfect. His capacities are completely beyond any normal human being’s.”

Years later, Auzière confided to a friend that she had the feeling she was “working with Mozart.”

Macron’s parents were shocked when they found out about the relationship with his teacher. They asked Auzière not to see their son again until he was 18. Biographer Fulda says the story is like something right out of the classic French novels by Balzac or Stendhal that Macron devoured as a child. Fulda says his relationship with Auzière caused a complete scandal in the small, provincial city of Amiens in northern France.

“You’ve got to imagine that this story begins in a provincial city, where everybody knows what everybody does, everybody speaks,” says Fulda. “So it’s difficult to live this story in a small city like Amiens. And especially because Brigitte Macron comes from a prominent and well-established family that has a chain of shops specializing in macaroons.”

Macron’s parents sent him to Paris to finish secondary school at one of the country’s best high schools. But his bond with his former teacher only became stronger.

“They spoke for hours on the phone every day,” says Fulda. “And Emmanuel told Brigitte, ‘I will be back for you. Whatever you do, I will marry you.’ ”

They married in 2007. In a video from the reception, the handsome young groom thanks the guests for their support over the previous 13 years.

“We’re not exactly a normal couple,” he says. “But you have accepted us and stood by us — and we exist, thanks to you.”

Macron has said his parents initially “took it badly.”

“Strength of conviction was required,” he told Fulda. “They thought on several occasions that it was going to stop and naturally did everything to encourage that. … You have to learn to fight for things, to bear the burden and have a life which does not in any way correspond to other peoples’ lives.”

[From NPR]

I’m sorry, but I laughed at “Brigitte Macron comes from a prominent and well-established family that has a chain of shops specializing in macaroons.” Macaroon-shop-owning family = local French A-list. But seriously, this story is… not telling us what they think it’s telling us. They are trying to frame it as “he’s always been a leader, he’s always known what he wants, he’s always been passionate and intense and brilliant.” But what it’s really telling us is that a naive-yet-precocious teenage boy developed an intense crush on his married teacher, and instead of shutting it down, Brigitte groomed him and wouldn’t release him, and instead built up this intense fantasy of Emmanuel being this one-of-a-kind visionary and their love was different and special. This says terrible things about her.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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152 Responses to “Emmanuel & Brigitte Macron’s ‘love story’ is creepy as hell, actually”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    The bar is so raised on creepy at this point that I don’t even know any more. She didn’t annoint her own son as her public husband while her legal husband is locked away in a Manhattan penthouse.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      I know what you mean. It’s repulsive, but not the most repulsive thing we’ve seen this past year when it comes to politicians. It shouldn’t stop him from getting elected.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        I read somewhere that he is gay and they just have this unconventional marriage. The “optics” are terrible and I find the story highly disturbing. I’m extra offended because she had/has children of her own! I don’t know if his being gay changes anything. Maybe it really is a marriage of the minds. Still weird.

  2. Jessica says:

    This makes me uncomfortable; if the gender roles were reversed I’d probably be livid. But on the other hand unless she had sex with him under the age of consent then she hasn’t done anything illegal.

    • anon says:

      Relationships are more than just sex. This was abuse, regardless of whether or not they had sex, while he was underage. She created an unhealthy relationship and environment, which prevented him from forming normal relationships, as any teenager would have.

      • Jenny says:

        She seems to have been grooming him indeed and that is always sick and shouldn’t be allowed. Having said that, here in Sweden the legal age of consent is 15 so to me being fifteen and having a sexual relationship isn’t that strange. But it is always very strange and disturbing when a teenager is with someone a lot older than him/her, because the power balance is way off, no matter how the grownup tries to frame it. I’m glad Macron beat Le Pen but his wife seems creepy beyond what is acceptable to me.

    • aenflex says:

      I find it no more creepy than Celine Dion/Rene Angelil situation. I don’t really find it creepy at all. I think 15 or 16 is reasonable age of consent. It’s not as if emotional health and wisdom just automatically kick in at 18, and only then are good decisions rendered.

      He chose to be with her. He’s stayed with her for years. He’s had chances with women and girls his age, no doubt, and he’s chosen her as his wife.
      These are the exact same thoughts I had about Dion/Angelil, who ended having a great marriage, children, and seemed to be very much in love until he died.
      Not everything is creepy. Not every 16 year old is a clueless bag of water with no grasp on their own desires, goals, etc.

      • aenflex says:

        Do two years really make it that creepy?

        I assume that 18 being the age of legal consent, (where it is), is mainly in place to protect those teens who aren’t able to make ‘healthy’ choices when it comes to sex, drugs and legal drugs. Not all teenagers fall into this category. Judging by all the ‘unhealthy’ choices I saw in college, being 18 doesn’t really change decision making for those who aren’t good at it.

      • colin flowers says:

        This has nothing to do with the age difference – each to their own – it’s more a case of the fact that she was his teacher – a person of trust and influence who had an inappropriate relationship with a CHILD – it matters not that they went on to become a married couple – reverse this and the man would be in jail and people such as you would not be justifying it and comparing to Celine Dion – who by the way was not her husbands 15 year old student at the time their relationship began.

    • colin flowers says:

      Jessica – why would you have been livid only if the gender roles had been reversed? Why aren’t you livid now instead of just being “uncomfortable” Is t one rule for men and another for women?

  3. JEM says:

    Super gross, and if the genders were reversed, people would view this relationship as straight up child molestation. Which it is. That being said, this man better win the election.

    • Rey says:

      He is probably going to win. What actually worries me is what if he sucks? Look what Hollande did to socialist party and the boost national front got from his uselessness. Macron does not even get to be mediocre, he has to be great. I am an outsider maybe somebody French can inform me, do people believe in Macron beyond beating Le Pen?

      • ria says:

        Interview i have seen yesterday, couple french people were asked about Macron, they ALL said they think of him slightly better than Hollande BUT better him then Le Pen.
        None of them sounded optimist.

      • A mascarada says:

        Not really. I’ll vote AGAINST Le Pen, not really for him.

    • marta says:

      It is creepy that a boy of 15 is so devoid of conscious that he pursues the married wife of another man who have three children together without regard of the husband and their children, only regard for his own consciousless , callous obsession. In other words ME, ME, ME, MY GRATIFICATION IS ALL THAT MATTERS-a true narcissist. As for the 40 year old child molesting teacher, while consent is age fifteen for sex in France, it is a crime if the adult is in a position of power over a child. That’s who Brigette is, a woman willing to abandon her own 3 children and husband to run off the Paris to live with the boy she molested. Again the children? Irrelevant to MY DESIRE for gratification and her own husband ? Who cares? Not Brigette. She is now to be put in charge of education in France? A teacher who molests her student? Very sad and disturbing. Two immoral self serving people who justify their evil deeds because they care only for themselves.

  4. astrid says:

    yup, creepy

  5. OhDear says:

    As I said yesterday, this is very Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnson-esque.

    Still better than LePen, though!

    (Best wishes to the French folks here!)

    • Lama Bean says:

      This is venturing into Mary Kay LeTourneau territory.

      • bunny ears says:

        I think of Letourneau too every time I see these two on the news.


      • CeeCee says:

        I thought of Letourneau, too. Not okay.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I find this less creepy because he was three years older than Fualaau, they didn’t have children, and they didn’t marry the nanosecond they were legally able to.

      • DystopianDance says:

        Typically we hear about men “molding” and controlling their younger spouses. However, I know another woman who “sees the healer” in a man, and changes his name while putting him through reiki school. She’s done this serially. So some women “devour” and mold younger men. I can’t say this is or isn’t “true love”, but it seems agenda ish.

    • JennaR says:

      Yes to all of it!

  6. Anne says:

    Well, he was 15, they even coudl have sexuall relationship (i don’t know if they had), we Europeans have open minded and it is nothing to be shock. I’m fine with it them and will feel relife when he will be choosen to be President.
    I’m shocek when I hear Marine le Pen speeches.

    • Lena says:

      Are we really more open-minded in Europe? I was thinking about it this morning and I remembered this story. We were talking about sex with a few classmates (don’t how we came to talk about that) and our Mexican studend join the conversation and was shocked by the subject of our conversation haha!
      But this Macron story is still a little bit creepy to me. but I will vote for him anyway. It’s not like he is a sexual predator or anything!

      • Kiki says:

        My Austrian husband told me the other way he would have loved to be in his shoes when he was a student. I was shocked but he said this is not a big deal.

      • Lena says:

        -Kiki, I can see his point. It’s like a fantasy. I know my spanish teacher and a sociologist teacher in college slept with their students…

    • Ninili says:

      Please speak for yourself and don’t generalize. Europe consists of many countries and cultures. I am from Europe and I find their relationship disturbing. Fact is that he was a child when their relationship started.

    • Erinn says:

      I think there’s a difference between being open minded about age differences, and being okay with the kind of grooming of a child that clearly happened here. I’m not sure why you’re attempting to take on a bit of superiority for being more open minded about a 15 year old (who’s brain has a decade before it’s done developing – especially when it comes to impulses/decision making aspects) and a 40 year old married woman who looked at him and thought ‘boy, I want a piece of that!’. She was his teacher. She had a position of authority in his life. He was a child who’s parents were concerned about this relationship to the point where they felt they needed to get him away – and clearly their concern was valid considering she still managed to snatch him up.

      • Adele Dazeem says:

        Very well said. It’s not the age gap *now* that is concerning…it was when he was 15 and the influence at that point. If they just got together NOW as adults I don’t think anyone would say much…I certainly wouldn’t.

      • colin flowers says:

        Erinn – well said a very well argued point – I am amazed at how many people are trying to justify what was essentially a relationship between an adult and a child – so what if it was not sexual at the beginning – we don’t know for sure – and some of the men who think this was a fantasy come true – some young female students fantasise about their male teachers would that be OK if the teacher acted upon it?

    • Sixer says:

      I do think there is a strand in European cultural representation – literature, film, etc – that adolescents often have a relationship with an older figure almost as a rite of passage. It invariably goes wrong because, as everyone knows, the power balance is messed up, but the young person learns from the experience, matures because of it, and moves on with their life.

      This is different perhaps to the more likely cultural response stateside, which would be that the young person is traumatised and there are lasting negative effects.

      But I don’t think that means Europeans are cool with adults grooming adolescents in the real world. Quite the opposite.

      • slowsnow says:

        Yes, Bertolucci films come to mind, for example. The one with Liv Tyler.
        There’s Nabokov’s Lolita that was written in the USA but started as a short story he wrote in Europe. Funnily enough, the whole criminal aspect – and the grooming -was an “American” addition.

      • Sixer says:

        Exactly. There’s Colette that I referenced below, Sagan, etc etc etc.

        Cultural representations aren’t the same thing as real life. And in any case, both recognise such relationships as ill-advised. It’s just that one sees it as a life lesson and the other as a life trauma.

      • slowsnow says:

        You have Duras IRL with her uper duper young assistant/lover at the end of her life. It was even stranger than the Brigitte-Macron dynamic.

      • detritus says:

        It’s really common in fantasy and sci-fi too. There was an entire popular novel series, Clan of the Cavebear by American Jean M Auel, that glamorizes this rite of passage behaviour. I’d say most vampire stories too, the trashy novels I read as a teen loved that trope. Anne McCaffery uses it in a few Dragon Rider books too.

        They never have repercussions though. It’s usually a slightly or really forced but entirely wonderful experience, younger person is scared at the beginning but perfect and satisfied at the end, everyone is happy and maybe they fall in love.

    • Valois says:

      No, at 15 and with his teacher it would have been illegal (on her part obv) in most European countries.

      • Parigo says:

        Pretty sure age of consent in France is 15. Drinking, voting, driving 18.

      • Valois says:

        As I said, on her part. The crucial element wasn’t his age but the fact that she was his teacher.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        The age of consent in most European countries is between 14-16. In France it’s 15. It depends on the country, but in some a teacher-pupil relationship is actually legal, as long as the teacher is not directly teaching the pupil. There was such a case a few years back in Germany which caused quite an uproar as the teacher in question was acquitted of all accusations.

      • Valois says:

        The rules for that in Germany depend on several factors (age of the student, relationship within the context of teaching, albeit single teaching bureaus are usually pretty strict about it) and France has a similiar rule for that, article 227-27, refering to sitations where the older partner has some sort of authority over the minor.

        Legal issues aside, I’m a teaching student in a European country myself (year 4/5) and most teachers are definitely not “open minded” about their colleagues sleeping with students, even in cases where it is legal. A former teacher of mine had a child with her 18 y.o student (said child was my classmate). I came back to that school for a placement last year and the older teachers still side-eye the shit out of her for doing that and the school temporarily banned her for it and she’s not allowed to teach older students anymore.

    • brincalhona says:

      Anyone in a position of responsibility with children knows that a child is anyone up to the age of 18. Even if they are 18 and still at school, you are not allowed to have an improper relationship with them – and that doesn’t mean just sexually.

    • Malak says:

      Well, he won! Congratulations and celebrations!! They’ve been married a decade(?) now and she’ll be France’s new first lady.

  7. Jenns says:

    So she is basically the french version of Mary Kay Letourneau.

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      Except her victim was had just turned 12 when it started. This case is creepy but he was legal at 15 in Europe.

    • Luca76 says:

      To be fair MKL was having an affair with a 12 year old there is a huge developmental difference I still do think this was innaptoriate. But I don’t have quite the same feeling that permanent harm was done.

    • slowsnow says:

      It is not the same thing. And I say that as a mom of children 17, 16, 11 and 7. From 12 to 13 to 14 to 15 there are big changes. A year in teen-age years = a decade in adult years.

      I was discussing this with my 76 year old mother and we came to the same conclusion. Everyone did what they had to do in this story. Like in a tragedy, it’s an unwholesome situation but the love is there what can you do. So the family fights it, he obeys until he has to, she loves him back and they get together when they can.

      Not clutching my pearls: in her shoes, provided it’s love, I would have done the same (but perhaps encouraged him to go away for 3 years like the family), in his shoes too and in the parent’s situation too. That’s the very definition of a tragedy.

      And the end is tragic too. In a decade their age difference is going to show a lot more. Instead of being creeped out – honestly, so much outrage is tiring – I find it quite sad to fall in love with someone that has a huge age different with oneself.

      • Maria says:

        You are right. It’s a whole generation. How much commonality can there be?

      • HadToChangeMyName says:

        Then you’re a better mom than me that you don’t think this is that disturbing. I would have caved her face in. She was no only his teacher, she was married with children.

      • detritus says:

        ‘And the end is tragic too. In a decade their age difference is going to show a lot more. Instead of being creeped out – honestly, so much outrage is tiring – I find it quite sad to fall in love with someone that has a huge age different with oneself.’

        This is part of why I feel she was irresponsible and did not truly care for him, just for herself. You can fall in love with the wrong person, as an adult it is your responsibility to recognize that and set boundaries, not encourage it. He never had a chance to truly evaluate and make that choice with her continuing romantic contact.

      • slowsnow says:

        @detritus, you know what my 76 year old father replied to that this morning?
        He said that she was not a model or celebrity, just a woman without any particular cool factor. If he was with her and still it’s out of love and not for her body. So he should be fine with her even in a decade. And he added that our spouses can have terrible disabling diseases, anything can happen in life. Love is much more rare.

      • detritus says:

        She did have a ‘cool’ factor though, she was his teacher.

        I think we are going to have to disagree on this, I don’t believe love is enough, or overwrites things, and I believe Macrons wife took advantage of his youth and inexperience. A teacher should never do this. It is The teacher part is a huge problem.

        Your dad sounds like a real romantic sweetie, I just don’t agree.

  8. trollontheloose says:

    she definitely groomed him. She didn’t rebuke his attention, desires and attraction. She can “rationalize” it by saying ” he is sooo smart so beyond his age” it’s still a NO. His parents sent him away yet she went on with the relationship. That’s the kind of story for Nancy Grace. I would have reported her to the police. What’s true with older men and underage girls is true with older women and younger boy. Elections or not that’s not right but I guess it’s ok because, hey, he is the lesser evil.

  9. CarolinaBelle says:

    The article is mistaken. It is macarons, not macaroons.

    • detritus says:

      I thought this must be so. No one cares that deeply about macaroons. Macarons now… that I can see.

  10. Va Va Kaboom says:

    Their relationship reminds be a bit of Celine Dion and her husband. I don’t when Celine and Rene’s first began to have romantic feelings for each other, but the grooming of a remarkable young person and guiding them to “greatness” is definitely similar.

    • jugil1 says:

      +1 I thought of Celine Dion reading this story too.

    • slowsnow says:

      This is a PR twist. She was in love with him and now they have to “tell their story” and make it sound like he has a superpower and was wise beyond his years.
      With Celine Dion the guy was her manager. Also, in a very patriarchal milieu such as the celebrity circuit the male manager-female singer is much more of a power imbalance than the female teacher and the prodigy male student.
      I find it interesting that they tell the story in such a conservative way, as if she was the one in awe and he was the one in charge because he was brilliant.
      However I do recognise that there still was, in the Macron situation, a discrepancy in terms of maturity. But the woman threw away all her life, had to start over. You don’t do that out of lust so the words “groom” and “creepy” seem a bit our of context for me.

      • Va Va Kaboom says:

        I agree “creepy” is probably too harsh for either relationship (I never described it as such myself). I do think there was “grooming”, but not necessarily in a sexual context. Or at the very least, that wasn’t all their relationships were about. Each saw something special in their young partners and “groomed” them in a bid to help them achieve success.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Va va Kaboom
        I know you didn’t. I did not mean you specifically
        But don’t you find that this professional grooming is not believable? It sounds so much like a thing they were told to say so that she is submissive, the woman behind the great man. In France, to have a political career you have to do very specific things (such as going to certain schools, being in a certain milieu). I doubt that she had those connections and even doubt more that, did she have them, in such a conservative and patriarchal society as the French it would have been accepted that an older woman pushes her young lover’s agenda.

      • Parigo says:

        See my comment below. I think he was and is very different. You don’t potentially become the youngest president in your country’s history if you weren’t just a wee bit special.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Liquorice, IMO he became potentially and most likely a very young President by mere turn of events, i.e. Penelopegate and the demise of the Socialist Party, that did not have a chance.
        Worse: he is the Le Pen for all the non-fascist people who are, like the ones who vote Le Pen, unhappy with the banks, the globalised world, Europe, inequality, unemployment etc. He’s the maverick who does not have a known agenda. Like Trump in a way. The world has become a very unsatisfied place.

      • slowsnow says:

        I don’t mean he thinks like Trumo, I am merely talking about the political context. Also, I believe you should vote for him ALL THE WAY. Hopefully that came across.
        But we can’t be blinded by the real reasons he’s going to win.

      • Parigo says:

        Slowsnow, you mean Mélenchon right? Lots of anti-Europe, protectionist theory Is shared by the far right and far left. The whole right/left label thing is outdated. Macron is economically center/right (for France) because he is a pro Europe, globalist neo-liberal. But socially he is firmly left: Pro equality (abortion, gender, race, gay). He is very much a neo liberal like Obama or Clinton.

  11. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Yes it does seem creepy in that Mary Kay Letourneau way. Saying that, this sort of thing (big age gaps) is quite common is some European countries, esp France.

    • Truthful says:

      I am french and in the last INSEE (state statistics agency) only it was revealed that only !% of couple have an age gap superior to 5 years (5 years being the beginning of what’s considered a “big” age gap) … so not common at all… if we refer to this 2016 study 92% of couples have less than a 5 years gap….the very french thing is that in 1/3 of cases the oldest is the woman 😉

  12. Nicole says:

    Welp I found this creepy before but…yikes

  13. Sixer says:

    She’s Camille Dalleray!

  14. uninspired username says:

    Still not a would-be fascist!

  15. trollontheloose says:

    Doesn’t France has this other guy Johnny Haliday who groomed his current wife (and his ex-wife) when his was well over his 50 and both wife and ex wife were barely 10????? eww.. we had Mary Kay Latourneau.. creepy .

    • Lena says:

      He married his last wife when she was 20 years old and he his 32 years older than her, don’t know how or when they met, but yeah creepy too

  16. angie says:

    Weird and creepy.

  17. M4lificent says:

    My sister married her high school teacher when she was 19 and he was 31. When they met in his class, he was married with two toddlers. My parents could have unquestionably gotten him fired and had his teaching license revoked. And, depending on the particulars, could likely have gotten him arrested as well. However, they felt that it would be unfair to his children to destroy his livelihood.

    Thirty years later, they are still happily married. But a lot of their happiness springs from the fact that my sister has become very much like her husband. My sister was a very bright, (relatively) mature teenager. But because her early adulthood was spent with him, she has most of his personality traits, and not those of our family. Now she’s a very bright, capable adult — but she doesn’t have a personality or belief system that is independent of her husband’s.

    • Aren says:

      I wouldn’t say “happily married” if she lost her own self in the process.
      My aunt was groomed by a 35 year old, they got married when she was 14, now after 40 years they’re of course still together and have a family, but she has never known anything else besides being what’s asked of her.
      Sometimes she calls me, and says she feels sad, but doesn’t know why.

      • M4lificent says:

        I say “happily married” because my sister considers herself to be happy in her marriage and doesn’t feel any sense of loss.

        While 19 is quite young, it’s not as young as 14. My sister went to college (and had the opportunity to date other guys), is successful in her chosen profession, and raised a family by her choice (her husband didn’t want more children, but acquiesced to my sister’s wishes).

        A lot of people around my sister and her husband say, “See, it worked out well for them after all.” Probably in a similar way to how Macron and his wife are happy together. As her family, we see the difference from the person that she was before and who she could have been, but my sister is satisfied with her life and her relationship with her husband.

  18. Juls says:

    My son is 11 and this sort of thing terrifies me. I don’t think I would be as calm as his parents. I’d probably end up in prison, to be honest.

    • kay says:

      i still haven’t looked because i like to keep food down, but my husband said a 24 year old female teacher just received a minimum of a year for an affair with a 13 year old. i…just…what??? i think “uh, maybe he is a really mature looking 13” and then have to go wash my brain and my moral compass.
      i once thought a cashier at harveys was cute, and then had to choke when i realized he was 15. i thought he was at least 18, and am STILL freaked out that i found a teenager cute. so i truly cannot wrap my head around wanting to actually be with a teenager or finding them sexually attractive.
      bad enough to see, for example, one of my sons grade 10 fellow students and think “he will be a truly good looking man” (at least to me it is bad. it makes me uncomfortable, and it is simply aesthetics). how does one take the thought train and then action train further than that???

      • slowsnow says:

        My mum is a teacher and she could have been a Brigitte! She had a student completely head over heals in love with her. To the point of having to talk with the head of the school. She told me she was completely freaked out. But then again he wasn’t Mozart!
        My son and daughter being 16 and 17, they have friends who are closer to 18 of course. Some of them I find attractive (girls and boys) and it doesn’t freak me out because I know the difference in feeling attracted and finding someone attractive. There is nothing wrong with that.
        I am a little puzzled by all this pearl clutching – even children have a sexuality and I think it is pretending that it doesn’t exist and making false lines such as age 18, age of consent (where you read horrible sites saying X is a now “legal”, urgh), that makes it over the top and problematic.
        I am not saying situations such as the Brigitte-Macron should be taken lightly. But clutching pearls and pretending our children and ourselves are sexless, undesiring saintly beings is not gonna solve problems.

      • Juls says:

        Maybe I’m reading your comment incorrectly, but I don’t think it’s “pearl-clutching ” to say a teacher should not be preying on his/her students. It’s not the age difference that’s problematic, it’s the power imbalance. I talk openly with my son about sex and relationships. I grew up in a household where it wasn’t discussed and I was led to believe it’s a dirty-taboo-thing that we don’t talk about. I believe my child should know that it’s totally natural, the risks and rewards, and that it’s okay to talk about it openly with me as well as his future love interests. That being said, if a teacher preys on him I will cut a b!+€h. If he decides he likes older partners, I’m okay with it as long as he is happy. But a teacher holds power over a student the same as a boss over employees. There is a big difference to me.

      • slowsnow says:

        What I am saying is that this relationship, through the test time, proves that the notions of “grooming”, “preying” etc do not apply here. She was married, probably dealing with the horror of falling for such a person and also for falling out of love with her own husband etc. It must have been awful. It’s easy to judge.
        I’m not gonna say he was Mozart but of course he was an unusual, precocious young man if you bother to read about him for a few minutes. He went away. They only married in 2006. I mean, they did everything to give the relationship its testing time, more than you or me ever had to do.
        To be clear: if this happened to my kids I would have done the same his parents did. This kind of relationship HAS to be strutinized.
        But I am just not gonna stand here and judge this in an infantile way, saying ‘creepy’ etc, or finding her ‘discusting’.

      • detritus says:

        @slowsnow, that’s not how grooming works.
        If they stay that just means it been effective.

  19. Nina says:

    Double standards!! If it was backwards, nobody would be commenting about it.
    Have for sure nothing ilegal went down there at the beginning: if that was the case I am sure his parents would have reported to the police !! If they only moved him to Paris, may suggest that was the only thing they could do.

    • Maria says:

      well the parents had no way of proving that nothing happened. And I’m totally creeped up by her. She had her own children at that time, would she have been happy if a teacher would have taken up with any of them?

  20. Aren says:

    That’s disgusting, I wish the worse upon her; abusing her power to groom a teenager is horrible. I hope it backfires, one day, eventually.

  21. NOLA says:

    I find this incredibly disturbing. I’m picturing this happening with my son, and I cannot foresee any scenario in which he would turn 18; I’d throw up my hands; and just magically be ok with this relationship. Nope. Nope. Nope. I could not and would not be able to accept this woman, who was basically a predator with my son as the prey, into my family.

  22. Love says:

    She’s a terrible creep.
    I hope he has an affair with someone much younger than her. Karma for her not letting him consider young women in his youth.

  23. Jessica says:

    Definitely creepy and bordering child molestation, but still preferable to le Pen.

    We are truly living in strange times.

  24. Hannah says:

    Who gives a fuck? Don’t vote for facists!
    Also, how is a city of more than 120,000 people ‘provincial’?

    • Liquorice says:

      It’s ‘provincial’ in the way every French city, town, or village outside of the Paris area (and sometimes outside Paris itself) is considered as the sticks with all the snobbery there is.

  25. Liquorice says:

    I’m French and I want to say we French people find the story as disgusting than you Americans or Brits. Their love story is being glossed over by his PR (for instance he was specifically asked to hold her hand so that they appear a couple in love). (Search articles about Michèle “Mimi” Marchand, the French queen of PR.) He is rumoured to be gay. I don’t really believe it but I think there is no sex involved in their marriage. You can smirk, Kaiser, but Brigitte Trogneux’s background is better than Macron’s one (Macron’s parents are physicians but not as wealthy as Trogneux’s “macaroon family”) ; so I think Macron did a marriage of convenience.
    I wonder if Brigitte presents the signs of being a sociopath or psychopath. (In French, we call it a pervers narcissique). She is rumoured to be overbearing, is everywhere where he is in public. She was there in his cabinet when he was Minister of Economy. I wonder if she is manipulative. An Italian psychiatrist called Macron a psychopath but I believe it is Brigitte the insane woman and he the victim.
    As for Mr Auzière (Brigitte Trogneux’s ex-husband), I find it a shame he couldn’t attend his own mother’s funeral fearing Brigittte would be there. (Source : the Daily Mail). He appears to have completely disappeared from his family and appears to be absent from his own grandchild’s christening. Look at this picture : http://resize1-parismatch.ladmedia.fr/img/var/news/storage/images/paris-match/actu/politique/brigitte-et-emmanuel-macron-la-presidentielle-en-famille-1222061/20633936-1-fre-FR/Brigitte-et-Emmanuel-Macron-la-presidentielle-en-famille.jpg, it looks like Macron is idolized by his stepchildren. And where is the real grandfather in the picture ? Nowhere. You see with this picture Macron has totally replaced Mr Auzière in the family and his children’s hearts. Bizarre ! Dysfunctional family where money and power are all that matter.
    I look forward the day Macron wakes up from this nightmare and finds a real family to himself.
    Kaiser, you should search articles about Macron, even though they are in French. You could set up a whole dossier about Macron’s bizarre relationship.

    • Parigo says:

      Wow, completely disagree. No one I know gives a shit. See my comment below.

      • Liquorice says:

        Just look at French comments on Facebook.

      • Parigo says:

        Facebook is a bubble that largely mirrors one’s own existence. No one I know personally, cares and the people/stuff I follow on Facebook don’t care either.
        The only person who ever mentioned this to me is my mother-in-law, who actually said that it made her like him more.

      • Liquorice says:

        But it is enough to reflect the people’s opinion. Just as I love reading Celebitchy’s comments, I like to read Facebook’s comments on newspapers articles.

      • Truthful says:

        Totally disagree with Licorice too: Nobody gives a shit in France about this… except for fascists backing Le Pen and trying to ale their couple a thing

        In France you private life is private, what we judge is your competence and skills to lead the country and that’s it!.
        Ps: you sen to be crazily (FFS details) invested in this like wow, big wow!

      • Truthful says:

        Parigo Totally agree (parigote aussi ;)) ! I have never heard a thing about them even from people who don’t back him

      • Kove says:

        What a gross comment ‘Truthful’…you’re admitting the French people as a whole have no problem with child grooming?? That you have no problem with it? Disgusting.

        “In France you private life is private”… Yeah, between two adults, but a child was groomed by somebody in a position of power there, is there no pastoral care in France or something?!?

        “Ps: you sen to be crazily (FFS details) invested in this like wow, big wow!”…Holy reverse psychology, I think its a good thing someone is pointing out how disgusting this adult-child relationship is(was), as the French clearly won’t

        …I wonder how you’d react if it was your underage child in a relationship with a teacher…you’d probably just hand them a pack of condoms , right?

  26. Parigo says:

    OK, I’m going to defend them. I live in France and they’ve actually grown on me. They’ve been together for over 20 years and according to all accounts function as equals.

    And yeah, he is kinda brilliant. And a big nerd. As a teenager he was that kid who hung out with adults or other teachers. He wasn’t interested in partying or chasing girls. He had mad ambition and knew what he wanted professionally and personally. If he wins he will be the youngest President in France’s history. That’s gotta tell you something about a person’s character.

    He is grown ass man who has made his own decisions in life. To say he must have been “groomed” or was being manipulated the whole time is a sexist assumption within itself. Likewise for the gay rumors. Because an older woman can’t otherwise be attractive to a much younger man?

    Finally, there’s a video of their wedding where he thanks her children and friends for accepting their relationship, saying he knows it’s not conventional. He’s a big supporter of women’s rights and gay rights, so I’m not gonna judge his family in return. And I hope like all hell he wins Sunday!!!

    • Liquorice says:

      He may be brilliant but I know well even gifted kids are still immature in their minds. This doesn’t discharge Brigitte of her moral laxity.
      Moreover, he has been during many years Brigitte’s lover (she only divorced in 2006), still adding to the moral laxity of the pair.
      I will vote for him, he will be France’s youngest president, but he had the luck of François Fillon’s scandals happening, otherwise it would have been a more difficult road for him.

      • Lena says:

        Fillon made a big score in my opinion, with all the scandals at his ass. Didn’t change much in my opinion…

      • slowsnow says:

        I agree with @Liquorice (réglisse?) in the sense that brilliant precocious young people are not always as mature as they seem and I speak from experience.
        However, I travel to France for work and have lived there for 9 years and no one I know gives a damn about their relationship and the gay rumours are presposterous IMO. In Portugal we had the same thing with one of our Prime-Ministers ( man who did not marry right away after his divorce had those rumours for ages when he is clearly a straight man). Anything unconventional is immediately spinned as a sexual difference – that goes to show that the “Europeans” which is an image probably stemming from the sixtie’s French films are not as open-minded as some people seem to think, much less French society.
        But we do separate private life and politics, which is why no one cares.

      • Liquorice says:

        You are right in the way French people don’t care about private lives. However, surfing on the Internet, I find many French comments telling they find it gross. I wanted to say the French people are on this case no more perverse than the Americans or the British people : some are wowed by this love story (as for me, I find it smoke and mirrors), some are shocked by it. Unlike the British and American people, French people can find the story gross and still vote for him.
        However, it is not to be compared with Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s story. There were clear, unquestionable accusations of rape and that was enough to bring down DSK’s reputation in the French people’s eyes.

      • slowsnow says:

        Yes @Liquorice, the Strauss-Khan story is… well, another story. A well deserved fall from heaven. The man had all the voters fawning over him but I am happy he is no longer in the race. He is like a more predatory Mitterand. And I say this as someone of a socialist penchant!

      • Parigo says:

        I still say no one in France aside from maybe the gossip rags care.
        At least we can all agree that no one cares enough to not vote for him. I don’t want to raise my child under a Le Pen regime.

      • Kove says:

        ….but would you mind your child having a relationship with an adult teacher, Parigo? Judging by your previous comments you’d love it…

    • Maria_ says:

      i hope he wins too, finger cross.
      his private life is not our bussiness .

  27. vauvert says:

    It was creepy for Celine and Renee, it was creepy for the Aaron Taylor whatever couple and it is creepy for Emanuel and Brigitte too. It is not the age difference in and of itself although that has its own issues – but those issues are ones the couple can live with if they choose – that one partner will die well before the other, that one partner will likely stop being able to have children while the others can etc. The problem is the fact that at the beginning of the relationship one party was a child and lacking maturity while the other had a wealth of life experience AND a position of authority.
    However – the fact that his private life may be messy (from my POV) does not mean in any way that he is not qualified to be president or whatever. People need to separate the political figure from the personal (unless of course the person commits a crime). And when considering the alternative, unless he has a bunch of underage concubines stashed away, I don’t care. (not being French, my not caring is useless…)

  28. Margo S. says:

    It is child molestation. She would be in jail if this was canada.

    • Hollz says:

      I doubt it.
      They can’t prove that anything physical happened when he was under 16, particularly if he refused to discuss it in court.

  29. robyn says:

    I don’t care at this point because the European Union is at stake. The most important thing is for Macron to win. In a way, having a mature woman who has his back and understands the consequences of political acts is a good thing.

  30. Vavoterdimanche says:

    1. Love this website, takes my mind off things when I need to.
    2. Don’t really care about him and Brigitte, it’s not gonna prevent me from voting for him on Sunday!

  31. poppy says:

    Ooo lala creeper effrayant!

  32. Skylark says:

    I don’t find their relationship remotely creepy. That they’re together – and apparently very happily together – after all this time, says all that needs to be said about them and their enduring relationship.

    • Parigo says:

      As a parent, of course you’d be disgusted and do exactly what his parents did. But he persisted and saying this is all her fault (creepy, immoral etc) is very sexist. There is no evidence that he is being manipulated or that he ever was. I actually like her and them.

      • Jeo says:


        Are you crazy or something because you sort of sound it. You go one that as a parent you’d be disgusted but then you actually like this woman? Let me tell you grooming a child and waiting until they were a few years older still makes you a creep. Doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman you are still a creep that preyed on a child. If I was parent I will make sure her career is finished.

      • Kove says:

        You really need too understand what child grooming is Parigo, go on, google it…
        “He persisted” because he was an underage child who didn’t know any better,he’d been groomed ffs

        “Saying this is all her fault(creepy,immoral etc) is very sexist”… No, what is sexist, is that if there gender roles were reversed the adult(Brigitte in this case ) would have been imprisoned right away(even in morally corrupt, ‘having relationships with your teacher is normal’ France)…Instead people are shrugging their shoulders, because the groomed child who didn’t know any better ,pursued the teacher.

        As a parent, would you be OK with your 15 yr old daughter having a relationship with her male teacher? Even if she liked and pursued him? Or would that be OK to you?

      • Parigo says:

        I said I’d be sick, but I’m defending THEIR relationship in the current context. He’s is a grown man running for President of a nation.

    • Jeo says:

      If you have children would you think the same if some creep of a teacher preys on your child or even a family member? It’s disgusting and wrong on so many levels. My sister is a teacher and I know she would never do such a thing. To groom a child and then marry the individual when it is legal under the eyes of the law is still wrong. Makes me wonder if he was her only victim.

      • Parigo says:

        I’m not talking about you or me, I’m talking about them. They are a fascinating couple imo.

      • Jank says:

        A former teacher who groomed a 15 year old child/student and then a few years down the line starts seeing each other and then marry some years later = not fascinating but beyond disturbing.
        As Kove above said you need to read up on grooming. Here is NSPCC, a children’s charity in the UK definition on grooming is: when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of child abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed by a stranger, family member or professional.

  33. Zeddy says:

    This seems as though it’s all to distract from how shite lepen is. Not biting.

  34. hmmm says:

    Honestly this is skeezy but who cares? I want him to win against the bringer of Death.

  35. Connell says:

    Yes, completely agree. Thank you for writing this. I have to tell you I read European news all the time, and they are either not reporting on this or simply don’t care. Some European people feel this is just a liberal thing, which it is not. I would like France to have better choices.

    • Sylvie says:

      That is as you say bullshit. I am French everyone knows this story. It isn’t something new. You have to be living under a rock as you say. We don’t elect politicians for what they do in their private life. And if faced with the choice between macrons private life or a Facist the choice is simple. And I have to say American outrage about this is annoying. You guys have installed a groper who been accused of alleged rape in office. It seems hypocritical for you to critique European for morals.

      • Boo says:

        More than half of Americans didn’t vote for the groper in chief, so I’ll continue to judge the shit out of Europeans who think this isn’t creepy af.

      • Chrissy says:

        @ boo
        So you don’t make sense you don’t want to be judged because your country voted trump but you judge the French as a whole if they look past macrons issues?
        Please be real. The French have a choice between a facist and macron.I don’t see them saying its agreeable, I see them saying its a lesser problem then electing a facist.
        And for the record macron may have a sketchy personal story, but he isn’t like your president a alleged sexual assaulter AND a right wing racist.

  36. Chelly says:

    This is just ick. I mean look, most of us at one point or another had a crush on a teacher, I think that’s pretty normal but most teachers who are very aware of these crushes (especially in HS) do not entertain it but shut it down. She can say w/e she wants but what she did, how she engaged with him, & how she led him on is not ok. She’s a predator plain & simple. This story should not be viewed as romantic but rather disturbing. I actually feel bad for him as I would if it were a female being enticed by a much older male in that position. She’s gross

  37. Veronica says:

    His parents didn’t “lose their shit,” they made a responsible decision to protect their son from a predator utilizing a power dynamic to her advantage. Creepy AF and downright abusive. It’s really repulsive that this is being used against him as a way to boost a Nazi sympathizer when he’s the victim.

  38. Lilith says:

    I hope you have thoroughly checked your sources for the details of this story. It is confirmed that the French election has been hacked in much the same way as the disastrous US election, by the same group of Russian hackers (APT 28, aka “fancy bear”).

    FAKE stories just like this one are being disseminated on a large scale to try to sway the election to dangerous, racist fascist Marine Le Pen.

    Think of the timing for this “story”.. The Friday before the election.

    I hope this site is not helping that anti-democratic effort.

    • Anatha says:

      The story is from a TV movie that has interviews with Macron and his wife. They made it at the start of the presidential campaign to clear up rumours. It is the story that THEY tell.

    • Parigo says:

      Thank you.

  39. India Andrews says:

    I am 42 and teach 14-16 year old children. No way. Even if a kid wasn’t my student the maturity levels and differences in life experiences are too vast. Even my mature students turn around in a moment’s notice and show their age and it is of someone in his teens. So you can’t say, “Well, maybe a mature 15 could match someone in her forties?” No. If you think this kid is mature, sit back and wait a while longer. He will show his age soon.

  40. Amelie says:

    Ugh this again. Yes it’s weird/creepy/inappropriate how their relationship began, grooming or no grooming. But Macron decided to marry her anyways, he is 39 years old now aka an adult man. They’ve been very open about how their relationship began, it’s not some dirty secret. Macron doesn’t hide it and even admits it wasn’t ideal at all. According to Brigitte’s daughter who works on his campaign, he even asked her and her siblings if they were okay with him marrying their mother and asked for permission (saw an interview directly on Youtube with Brigitte’s daughter who said this). This won’t affect my voting for him tomorrow (French citizens in the US vote Saturday) because I really don’t care how he met Brigitte or if he’s gay or any of the other rumors surrounding his love life.

    More importantly his campaign got hacked today and there was a data dump of e-mails from people who worked on his campaign. That is more pressing than the fact he married his teacher which is news that’s a decade old.

  41. Sarah says:

    Le Pen is horrible but she is not a “Holocaust denier”. There is plenty to criticize her for without making things up.

    • Marie says:

      Sorry but she is. She just doesn’t say it out loud but you don’t even have to dig further to guess that she is her very father’s daughter. She said few days ago that France was not responsible for sending 13000 Jews into deportation in Vel d’Hiv, a historical fact that is acknowledged in our country. She is surrounded in her political parti by well known neonazi sympathizers and has never fired anyone of them. And remember: her father still remains the honorary president of the Front National party. Never forget.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      She is not ‘horrible’.

      She is a FASCIST.

      Pls let’s not normalise this one too, right?

  42. ... says:

    Mr Macaroon. Grotesque. All of it.

  43. Sylvie says:

    I am French I am disappointed you coverage of the French election is only about macrons wife. I just want to say that you should treat le pen the way you treat trump. With vigilance. As weird as the relationship between macron and his wife is don’t make this election about personal private life. There are bigger things at stake like saving the world from being right wing facist. There are more important stories then macrons wife on the eve of this election you could write about
    Like this hacking of macrons campaign that mirrors what happened to Hillary Clinton : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/world/europe/france-macron-hacking.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    Even if you are not French I hope you take le pen as serious as you take trump. It’s a mistake not to.

  44. Sylvie says:

    I also want to say that for Americans to critique the French for being morally wrong to accept this is hypocritical when you elected a man known to have sexually assalutated many women.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      You posted what I wanted to say.

      I hope French people won’t see a fascist ruling their country as we in UK and USA can. Unfortunately.

  45. adastraperaspera says:

    I hope Macron wins. The hacking attack is horrifying. It’s another act of war against plural and open societies, like what happened here in the US, in my opinion,

  46. S says:

    Sketchier than your life model drawing instructor asking you to check out his etchings, but still better than a Nazi.

    Politics in 2017. Ho boy.

  47. weegie warrior says:

    I dont care how they spin it – all this ‘She fell In love with his mind not his body’ crap -he was a Child – she was an Adult – his Teacher – at some point they started sleeping together -she shouldve stopped it when he went to paris if she had any scruples – yes an old fashioned concept I know but come on – her husband and children – including a daughter th same age in his class – mustve been mortified.

  48. robyn says:

    I applaud the French people. Thank goodness Macron won and by a wide margin. If decency had prevailed Trump should have gone the way of Le Pen in the US.

  49. Lea says:

    I am French too and I don’t even know what to think about them. Especially now that they are our President and First Lady.
    I also heard the gossip that he was gay and that she was his beard – and that would make sense, because there is no firsthand account of their relationship when he was a minor – at least, I didn’t find one interview of someone who witnessed it back in the days. That would also explain his two wedding rings.
    I don’t care though, I would understand because seeing how many people vote for the far right and its very conservative ideas, you can definitely say that the country is not ready to vote for a gay president. They seem to genuinely be fond of each other, whatever the reason, and she seems like a classy lady.
    It cannot be worse than our previous article president’s adultery and scandal 🙂