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Sunday, January 12, 2014

France's 'First Girlfriend' Valérie Trierweiler in hospital after learning of Hollande 'affair' claims

PARIS—President François Hollande's girlfriend was hospitalized following the publication of allegations about the French leader'srelationship with another woman.

Valérie Trierweiler was admitted to a hospital "to rest and undergo some tests following the difficult news she learned on Friday," said Patrice Bianco, Ms Trierweiler's spokesman on Sunday. Mr. Bianco said she entered the hospital on Friday and was expected to leave it on Monday.

French weekly magazine Closer on Friday published an account of what it alleged were nocturnal trips made by Mr. Hollande from the Élysée Palace, where the Mr. Hollande and Ms. Trierweiler live, to the home of French actress Julie Gayet. The magazine later pulled the story from its website, citing litigation risks, although it said it stood by the accuracy of its report.

Mr. Hollande said Friday that he "profoundly deplores these violations of private life to which anyone is entitled as a citizen." An official at the French presidency declined to comment on Sunday.

Ms. Gayet hasn't responded to requests for comment.

When Mr. Hollande took office in May 2012, he moved into the Élysée Palace with Ms. Trierweiler. 

She holds status there akin to that of a first lady, accompanying him on state visits. The palace's website contains a profile of Ms. Trierweiler, presenting her as Mr. Hollande's "companion."

Mr. Hollande has four children with his previous partner, 2007 Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal.

The allegations about Mr. Hollande's private life come just days before he was scheduled to hold a major news conference where he is expected to lay out a more pro-business policy as he seeks to breathe life into his presidency.

A poll in French Sunday newspaper Le Journal de Dimanche found the French public largely unperturbed by the allegations. A survey carried out on Friday and Saturday found 77% of those polled judged the story to be a private affair.

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