Valery Giscard d’Estaing dead at 94: Former French President who was once linked to an affair with Princess Diana dies amid investigation that he sexually assaulted a female journalist
Former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has died at the age of 94 – just six months after sexual assault allegations were made against him.
His death in a hospital in Tours, where he had been seriously ill, was announced by his family on Wednesday evening.
Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was head of state between 1974 and 1981, and he was also linked with having an affair with the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
He was admitted to the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris in September because of a ‘slight infection in the lungs,’ according to the Europe 1 radio station, before ending his days in a cardiology ward in Tours.
In May, he was accused of touching a female journalist intimately and without her consent.
It was reported that Mr Giscard d’Estaing carried out the alleged assault on Ann-Kathrin Stracke, a 37-year-old reporter with the German public broadcaster WDR.
Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing has died, France’s Europe 1 radio reported on Wednesday. Giscard, who was 94 and was France’s leader from 1974 to 1981, had recently been hospitalised in Tours, in western France
Ms Stracke had waived her right to anonymity in the reporting of the sex assault complaint, which was sent to Paris prosecutors in March.
In turn, a spokesman for Mr. Giscard d’Estaing said he had ‘no memory of his meeting’ with Mrs. Stracke.
It was on December 18, 2018, that Ms. Stracke had an appointment with the retired politician at his office in central Paris.
The interview was on the 100th anniversary of the birth of former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who was a world leader at the same time as Mr Giscard d’Estaing.
Mr Mr Giscard d’Estaing’s is best known in the UK for an alleged affair with the late Diana, Princess of wales.
She became an international celebrity at the end of Mr Giscard d’Estaing’s term of office, and the pair are said to have become close after meeting at official and charity engagements.
Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was head of state between 1974 and 1981, and he was also linked with having an affair with the late Diana, Princess of Wales
In 2009 Mr Giscard d’Estaing wrote a romance novel called ‘The Princess and the President’.
It was about an affair between a French president and a thinly veiled British royal – Patricia, Princess of Cardiff, or ‘Lady Pat’.
At the time, there was intense speculation in the French media that Mr Giscard d’Estaing was describing a tryst with Princess Diana in the 1980s.
Mr Giscard d’Estaing was in office in 1981, when Diana married Prince Charles, and they regularly met at official and charity engagements.
The novel’s epigraph read ‘Promise kept’, and at the end Patricia says: ‘You asked my permission to write your story. I grant it to you, but you must make me a promise…’
Neither Mr Giscard d’Estaing nor Princess Diana, who died in Paris in 1997, ever commented on their alleged affair.
Like most French presidents, Mr Giscard d’Estaing was well known for his passionate liasions with numerous beautiful women.
He was married to his cousin, Anne-Aymone Sauvage de Brantes, and they had four children together.
Mr Giscard d’Estaing’s turbulent private life was regularly the subject of reports in France’s national press.
More to follow