PARIS - Valerie Trierweiler, the girlfriend of French President Francois Hollande, was hospitalised after he was reported to be having an affair with an actress, officials told AFP on Sunday.
Aides to the “first girlfriend” said she had been admitted on Friday “for a rest and to undergo some tests,” and was expected to leave hospital on Monday.
Closer magazine reported in its edition published on Friday that Hollande, 59, has been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet, 41. The weekly glossy printed photos which it claimed showed Gayet and Hollande arriving separately at a flat near the presidential Elysee Palace for secret trysts. Hollande was reportedly delivered to the flat on a chauffeur-driven scooter and had freshly-baked croissants delivered to the love nest in the mornings by his personal bodyguards.
The Socialist leader has slammed Closer’s report as an outrageous attack on his right to a private life and said he is considering legal action. But he has not denied the substance of the magazine’s claims about a passionate affair which pushed him and Gayet to take “insane risks.” Trierweiler, 48, is a glamorous, twice-divorced career journalist who has three children of her own and has been Hollande’s partner for the best part of a decade.
Exactly when they became a couple is unclear but most accounts of his turbulent love life concur that he left Segolene Royal, a fellow heavyweight in the Socialist Party and the mother of his four children, in 2005. In public he was still pretending to be with Royal two years later when she ran unsuccessfully as the Socialists’ presidential candidate. The latest revelations about Hollande have been gleefully seized upon by the media in neighbouring Britain, where the portly and balding president’s apparent ability to have numerous beautiful women competing for his attention has long been a subject of fascination and derision. But in France, the media response was muted and largely restricted to low key factual accounts of what Closer had reported.
Voters too appear to be unfazed by the revelations. A poll published by Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) found that 77 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that the alleged affair with Gayet was a private affair that was nobody’s business but Hollande’s. Pollsters also say the suggestion that Hollande may have been cheating on his long-term girlfriend is unlikely to have any impact on his standing with the electorate. “In fact he is already so unpopular that this will not change anything,” Frederic Dabi of pollsters Ifop told the JDD.