14 Jan 2014

President Francois Hollande Love affair with Julie Gayet and Valerie Trierweiler hospitalised

Paris (AFP) - Francois Hollande faced the tough task of rousing media interest for his 2014 policy plans Tuesday as his partner remained in hospital following news of his alleged affair with a glamorous actress.
The French president is to hold a high-profile press conference which was initially expected to culminate with a key announcement on reforms to spur economic growth and create jobs.
But the conference, scheduled for 1530 GMT, is more likely to produce headlines on Hollande's private life, which was thrust into the spotlight last week by media allegations he was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.
The leader of the opposition, right-wing UMP party chief Jean-Francois Cope, has already pounced on the scandal as "having deeply undermined the president's authority".
David Assouline, a spokesman for Hollande's Socialist party, stressed Monday the right of any public official to a private life and defended the reform to be announced in Tuesday's keynote news conference.
In front of around 500 journalists, Hollande will float his "responsibility pact", in which he offers companies lower labour taxes in exchange for hiring more workers.
View galleryA file picture taken on May 14, 2009 shows French actress …
A file picture taken on May 14, 2009 shows French actress Julie Gayet arriving for the screening of  …
The Socialist leader, 59, had initially been hoping to ride out the storm created by last week's report of an affair with Gayet, a blonde actress 18 years his junior.
But those hopes were shattered with the hospitalisation on Friday of Valerie Trierweiler, Hollande's companion of several years and de facto First Lady.
She had been expected to check out on Monday, but "doctors believe she needs more rest", an aide to Trierweiler said.
Symptoms variously described in the media as low blood pressure, exhaustion and a "severe case of the blues" developed within hours of glossy French magazine Closer publishing details of Hollande's alleged secret trysts with Gayet in a borrowed apartment close to his residence.
Since then Hollande has faced mounting pressure, including from his own camp, to spell out the role of Trierweiler, who lives with him at the Elysee Palace.
View galleryA combination of pictures shows French actress Julie …
A combination of pictures shows French actress Julie Gayet before a screening at the 65th Cannes fil …
"He has to clarify the situation," said Thierry Mandon, the spokesman for the Socialist Party's parliamentary group.
"He has to do it once, firmly and decisively, and then we don't talk about it any more," he said ahead of Hollande's bi-annual press conference, his third since coming to power in May 2012
The traditional reticence in France's media and political class over what is seen as prying into the private lives of public figures ensured that reaction was at first subdued.
Despite concerns that Hollande had apparently been taking risks with his own security with clandestine visits to the flat on a chauffeur-driven scooter, it looked like he would be allowed to resolve his personal dilemma behind closed doors.
But the fact that Trierweiler is effectively a public figure with an entourage funded by the taxpayer has made her future a legitimate news story.
Having put her career as a journalist for Paris Match on hold after Hollande's 2012 election, Trierweiler has accompanied the president on overseas visits to China, Japan and India, and is due to travel with him to Washington next month.
Francois Rebsamen, who chairs the socialist party group in the Senate and is close to the head of state, told RTL radio Tuesday he hoped the notion of "First Lady" in France would disappear, calling it an "outdated practice" that should be banned.
Rumours had swirled since Gayet appeared in a 2012 Hollande campaign video in which she gushed about him being "fantastic, humble and really ready to listen".
Nonetheless, friends of Trierweiler quoted by Le Parisien newspaper have insisted she was devastated when the report of the affair emerged.
"She is ready to forgive him, she doesn't want to slam the door but she has to know quickly what his intentions are," the local paper quoted a friend as saying.
Opinion polls suggest French voters are also willing to forgive Hollande his alleged infidelity. A weekend survey found that more than three quarters (77 percent) think his love life is his own business -- though that was before Trierweiler's hospitalisation.
Twice-divorced Trierweiler has officially been Hollande's partner since 2007, when he left Segolene Royal, a fellow heavyweight in the Socialist Party and the mother of his four children.

(FILES) France's President Francois Hollande smiling at the Elysee presidential palace on December 5, 2013 in Paris. French magazine Closer on January 10, 2014 said President Francois Hollande was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet, promising to back its claim with photographs after months of swirling rumours.
Politician, Politics, Showbiz, Hollywood, Love Affair, President, Francois Hollande, Julie Gayet, Valerie Trierweiler, Hospital, First Lady, France, News, Photo,

(FILES) A file photo taken on May 15, 2009 shows jury member of the "Un Certain Regard" selection, French actress Julie Gayet posing during a photocall at the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Gayet has filed a complaint against person unknown, after a rumour spread on the internet claimed she was French President Francois Hollande's mistress, it was announced on March 28, 2013.
Politician, Politics, Showbiz, Hollywood, Love Affair, President, Francois Hollande, Julie Gayet, Valerie Trierweiler, Hospital, First Lady, France, News, Photo,
French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler has been admitted to hospital after media reports of an alleged affair involving President Francois Hollande and another woman.
Her office said she had been admitted on Friday "for rest and some tests".
Mr Hollande's unmarried partner was admitted a day after Closer magazine published images of the alleged affair.
The French leader has not denied secretly visiting actress Julie Gayet at a flat near the Elysee Palace but protested at invasion of his privacy.

(FILES) A picture taken on Valerie Trierweiler, partner of French President  listening national anthems during a dinner with South African president on October 14, 2013 in Pretoria. Trierweiler has been hospitalised "to rest and undergo some exams", according her cabinet, on January 12, 2014.
Politician, Politics, Showbiz, Hollywood, Love Affair, President, Francois Hollande, Julie Gayet, Valerie Trierweiler, Hospital, First Lady, France, News, Photo,

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