French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler remained hospitalized for a third day in the wake of a magazine report that said President Francois Hollande was allegedly having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.
Trierweiler was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 10 for “rest and for some tests,” and may be released today or stay longer, Le Parisien reported. Her office declined to say to where she was admitted or when she may be discharged.
In a seven-page photo expose, French weekly Closer reported on Jan. 10 that Hollande, 59, had a liaison with the 41-year-old French actress. Hollande said in a statement that he “deeply deplored” the magazine’s intrusion into his private life.
Polls showed that most French people are shrugging off the president’s alleged affair. In contrast with the U.S., where Former President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for misleading investigators about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, more than three quarters of the French consider Hollande’s dalliance a “private matter.”
Hollande isn’t married, although he has been in a long-term relationship with Trierweiler, 48. Before that, he was with former French presidential candidate Segolene Royal, with whom he has four children. The two were not married.
Gayet filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor in March against Internet rumors on her alleged affair with Hollande.
The Closer expose shows how private lives of the country’s politicians have become increasingly public in recent years. The affairs of French leaders rarely provided fodder for the media, which made a clear distinction between the private and the public.
In contrast with Hollande, Francois Mitterrand was able to keep both his battle with cancer and the existence of a daughter he had with a mistress out of the press during his 14-year presidency that ended in 1995.
Former President Jacques Chirac’s nocturnal adventures, although widely known, were rarely ever reported.
The French have traditionally taken such “affairs of the heart” in their stride. In an Ifop poll, most French people said Hollande’s alleged affair is a private matter.
In the poll conducted on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, 77 percent said they were unconcerned by the alleged liaison.
Still, Hollande is set to be queried about the affair when he holds his twice-yearly press conferences tomorrow.