| 16.2°C Dublin

Hollande to face the press over 'affair'

Close

AFFAIR CLAIMS: French president Francois Hollande and first lady Valerie Trierweiler

AFFAIR CLAIMS: French president Francois Hollande and first lady Valerie Trierweiler

AFFAIR CLAIMS: French president Francois Hollande and first lady Valerie Trierweiler

Embattled French president Francois Hollande is to face the media today for the first time since news of his alleged affair with a actress became public.

The widely-anticipated event comes as a new poll suggests three-quarters of voters already think he is doing a lousy job of running the world's No 5 economy.

The press conference – originally planned as a big policy affair designed to tackle pressing economic problems – is sure to be overshadowed by personal troubles so sensational that even the famously blase French cannot ignore them.

His first lady, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, was hospitalised after a magazine report that Hollande is having an affair with actress Julie Gayet. Ms Trierweiler may remain in the hospital for six to eight days to recover from the "very strong emotional shock", her chief of staff has said.

SCANDAL

Mr Hollande is a lifelong bachelor, though he has four children with former presidential candidate Segolene Royal. He and Ms Trierweiler have lived together since 2007, and while they are not married, Ms Trierweiler occupies the so-called "madame wing" of the presidential palace, travels abroad with Mr Hollande and functions as the first lady.

The French public initially shrugged off talk about the secret affair as Mr Hollande's private business. But pollsters said yesterday that Ms Trierweiler's hospitalisation renders the scandal more serious.

Patrice Biancone, chief of staff to Ms Trierweiler, vigorously denied Internet rumours that she had attempted suicide, and said she simply needs rest.

That puts even more pressure on Mr Hollande to come out with a forceful new economic policy when he faces the New Year's news conference.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy