President Hollande visits partner Trierweiler in hospital

Gayet, Hollande, Trierweiler Valerie Trierweiler (R) was taken to hospital after allegations of the affair emerged

Related Stories

President Hollande has visited First Lady Valerie Trierweiler in hospital for the first time since reports of his alleged affair broke last week.

Ms Trierweiler was admitted to hospital, apparently in shock after learning of the reports.

Closer magazine first published details of Mr Hollande's link with French actress Julie Gayet last Friday.

The magazine has further alleged that the affair began during the 2012 presidential race.

Ms Gayet says she is suing Closer for breach of privacy, seeking 50,000 euros (£41,000; $68,000) in damages and 4,000 euros in legal costs.

Analysis

It is certainly true that the French public are more tolerant of the president's indiscretions than the English speaking world, but it's fanciful to suggest they are not as interested.

Of course they are.

Closer magazine sold out in a morning when it broke this story. It printed 150,000 extra copies which sold in equally quick time.

And whatever French people admit when they are questioned by pollsters, the public are lapping it up. Today the papers have more to fill their column inches.

There is speculation this affair was on-going when Hollande was running for high office. The French politician Rachida Dati says people "don't want their politicians opening their bedroom or toilet doors". Maybe. But there are genuine areas for concern.

The president's judgement, his security, his agenda at a time of crisis, perhaps even his hypocrisy? Is this still the "exemplary presidency" he promised?

'Difficult moment'

Francois Hollande visited his partner in hospital for the first time on Thursday evening, the Elysee Palace confirmed on Friday, without giving further details.

Ms Trierweiler, 48, was admitted to hospital last Friday - hours after the first revelations made by Closer magazine.

In an apparent defence of Mr Hollande's character, Ms Trierweiler reportedly spoke to a radio journalist earlier on Thursday to explain that he had been told to stay away from the hospital by doctors.

The journalist said she was told Mr Hollande had sent flowers and chocolates and had met the team that is looking after Ms Trierweiler.

The first lady said she was "very tired to the point of not being able to stand up", and had been suffering from low blood pressure and low morale but was determined to leave hospital with her head held high.

In response to the reports, a source at the Elysee Palace said Mr Hollande was "not unhappy" about the hospital forbidding him to visit.

French media have claimed that Ms Trierweiler suffered an anxiety attack last week, but her friends have played down her condition.

BBC's Chris Morris hears the views of residents in Tulle where the president forged his political career

Le Point magazine quoted a friend of Ms Trierweiler as saying she had taken "one pill too many", but had not tried to commit suicide.

At his annual news conference on Tuesday at the Elysee to discuss his political agenda, Mr Hollande was asked questions about the alleged affair.

Mr Hollande, 59, said he was experiencing a "difficult moment" in his private life but refused to answer questions over the report in Closer, saying "private matters should be dealt with privately".

Timeline: Hollande's partners

  • 1988: Francois Hollande meets Valerie Trierweiler, she a journalist, he a Socialist Party MP with a steady partner, Segolene Royal
  • Family years: Trierweiler raises three children with second husband, while Hollande raises four with his unmarried partner, Royal
  • November 2007: Trierweiler announces she is Hollande's new partner, six months after he leaves Royal, who has just been defeated as the Socialist presidential candidate
  • Early 2012: Hollande allegedly begins affair with actress Julie Gayet, who has two children from her first marriage to Santiago Amigorena
  • May 2012: Trierweiler, still officially Hollande's unmarried partner, becomes first lady of France after his victory in the presidential election
  • June 2013: Trierweiler wins damages of 10,000 euros (£8,300: $13,675) from authors of The Troublemaker, a book that made allegations about her private life before Hollande's election
  • January 2014: Trierweiler is admitted to hospital after Closer publishes a report on Hollande's alleged affair with Gayet, accompanied by photos

Nor would he clarify whether Ms Trierweiler was still first lady before a February trip to the US.

'Turbulent'

In its latest revelations, Closer magazine said the president and Julie Gayet had been having a "turbulent romance" for two years - during and after Mr Hollande's election campaign.

It said the French president used a second apartment in the west of Paris to meet the 41-year-old actress.

And it also claimed that Mr Hollande made excuses to avoid a holiday in Greece last year with Ms Trierweiler so he could travel instead to his Correze constituency with Ms Gayet.

Closer's seven-page report on the alleged affair last Friday showed photos of a man in a crash helmet on a moped, said to be Mr Hollande, visiting an apartment building near the Elysee Palace.

Ms Gayet is shown at the building in a separate photo.

Mr Hollande has not denied the story, though he did briefly threaten to sue the magazine for invasion of privacy.

Public reaction to the issue has been muted.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world


  • Irvine WelshScots missed

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?


  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it for three planes to crash in eight days?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.