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Hollande fury over claims of affair

FRENCH President Francois Hollande has complained of a breach of privacy and is considering legal action after French magazine Closer alleged he was having an affair with an actress, a source in his office has said.

"Francois Hollande greatly deplores the invasion of his privacy, to which he has a right as any other citizen does. He is studying what action, including legal action, to take following this publication," the source said.

The weekly tabloid, criticised in 2012 for publishing topless pictures of Kate Middleton, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, published seven pages of photos of comings and goings outside a Paris apartment block to support its allegation.

A woman who the publication said is actress Julie Gayet, 41, is seen arriving at the apartment block at night.

The pictures then show the arrival of a man resembling Hollande's bodyguard. A second man – which Closer said was Hollande – then arrives on a scooter.

He is unidentifiable because he is wearing a black helmet.

Subsequent photos taken in the morning show the first man arriving with what Closer said was a bag of croissants, then the second man, in a helmet, emerging and jumping on the back of a scooter.

COMEDY

The woman, resembling Gayet, who has acted in French films including the 2013 comedy Quai d'Orsay where she plays a vampish diplomatic adviser in the foreign ministry, then comes out and heads off down the street.

There was no immediate comment from Gayet's lawyers. She filed a complaint for breach of privacy last March after rumours of an affair became public. The source in Hollande's office did not comment on the story's veracity

Hollande, who came to power in 2012 and who polls show is the most unpopular president in France's modern history, is in a long-time relationship with ex-journalist Valerie Trierweiler. Hollande has four children from a previous relationship.

hnews@herald.ie


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