The former French First Lady, Valérie Trierweiler, has blamed the pressures of power for the collapse of her unmarried partnership with President François Hollande.
During an informal 90-minute conversation with French journalists covering her humanitarian visit to Mumbai, Trierweiler, said: "If François Hollande hadn’t been President, perhaps we would have still been together."
Trierweiler, in her longest public discussion so far of the break-up of her seven year partnership, refused to dish the dirt on the man who once called her the "woman of my life".
"We are not at war. We talk on the telephone," the ex-First Lady said, according to i-Tele television and RTL radio.
She rejected the suggestion by opposition politicians in France that the President’s curt declaration on Saturday that he was ending their "life together" amounted to a "repudiation".
"My separation was a break-up, not a sacking," she said. "There was no formal warning."
Trierweiler did not comment directly on Hollande’s love affair with the actress Julie Gayet, 41, the exposure of which by Closer magazine led to the end of her partnership with the President.
She did say, however, that her experiences as First Lady had "vaccinated" her against any future interest in politics.
Having seen loyalty rewarded by "treachery" on many occasions, she said, she had no wish to return to her former career as a political journalist. She would remain with the magazine Paris Match but continue to write literary features.
Against Hollande’s wishes, Trierweiler flew to India on Sunday to fulfil a long-promised mission on behalf of the French charity Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger). She said she planned to continue her humanitarian work.
Her best memory of her 20 months as First Lady was a trip to the seaside at Cabourg in Normandy with poor children who had never seen the sea before.