NANTERRE : A French court is to rule Thursday on the breach-of-privacy suit brought by actress Julie Gayet against Closer magazine for revealing her relationship with President Francois Hollande.
The court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre is due to rule around 1330 GMT on Gayet’s request of 50,000 euros ($69,000) in compensation and 4,000 euros in legal costs from the magazine. Closer set off a political earthquake in France in January by publishing photos of Hollande, 59, and Gayet, 41, arriving separately at a Paris apartment for alleged trysts. Hollande split with longtime partner Valerie Trierweiler, 49, following the scandal but has refused to comment further on his private life or the nature of his relationship with Gayet.
During court hearings, Gayet’s lawyer Jean Ennochi said the actress had been “hunted” by the press. “She was assaulted by swarms of photographers.... it was like the hunt of a wild animal,” he said.
Closer’s lawyer Delphine Pando told the court the magazine was justified in publishing the photographs. She said they were in the public interest because they raised questions about presidential security and Hollande’s “duty of transparency”.
As well as the civil suit, Gayet has filed two other criminal complaints: one for breach of privacy over separate photos published by Closer of her taken inside a car, which under French law qualifies at a private space; and another accusing paparazzi of “endangering others” by allegedly hounding her. Gayet, a mother of two who has acted in more than 70 films over a 20-year career, has kept a low profile since the scandal broke. During a rare public appearance in New York this month she fended off questions about her relationship with Hollande, telling a reporter: “My private life is my private life.”