Former first lady Valerie Trierweiler has accused French president Francois Hollande of disliking disadvantaged members of society.
In a new book, Merci Pour Ce Moment (Thanks for the Moment), she said that in private the Socialist president refers to poor people as "les sans-dents", or in English, "the toothless".
"He is presented as the man who does not like the rich. In reality, the president does not like the poor," she writes.
The publication of the book, which documents the breakdown of Trierweiler's relationship with Hollande in the Elysee Palace after he admitted an affair with actress Julie Gayet, comes as he became France's most unpopular president.
His approval rating is below 20 per cent after three years of rising unemployment and a ministerial mutiny over austerity measures saw a new government sworn in.
There has been no official comment on the publication of the book from President Hollande, or his team.