Europe

President Hollande visits partner Trierweiler in hospital

  • 17 January 2014
  • From the section Europe
Gayet, Hollande, Trierweiler
Image caption Valerie Trierweiler (R) was taken to hospital after allegations of the affair emerged

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.

'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.

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".

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.

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