A Magazine Friday reported that Francois Hollande routinely hops on a scooter to spend the night with an actress, a revelation that has created yet another headache for the unpopular French president.
Hollande reacted furiously to the allegation — backed up by photos reportedly showing the President entering the flat of actress Julie Gayet — but did not deny it. He threatened legal action over what he called an attack on his right to privacy.
“It’s a real passion that has… turned their lives upside down and makes them take insane risks,” Closer said in a special edition today detailing the 59-year-old president’s alleged infidelity.
The seven-page spread printed photos of Gayet, 41, arriving at a flat in an upmarket part of Paris on December 30, not far from the Elysee palace where Hollande lives.
Half-an-hour later, a man whom it identifies as Hollande’s bodyguard inspects the hallway of the apartment block before the arrival of a scooter with two men on board, one of whom they say is Hollande — although his face is concealed under a helmet.
The bodyguard, however, does show his face and is identified as part of Hollande’s official security detail.
The next morning, the bodyguard delivers croissants to the couple, and three hours later, a helmeted man is pictured mounting a chauffeur-driven scooter and driving off. Gayet later leaves the flat too.
In a statement, Hollande slammed the report as an attack on the right to privacy, to which he “like every other citizen has a right”.
He said he was “looking into possible action, including legal action” against the weekly magazine. But he did not deny the allegations.
Hollande officially lives with his partner Valerie Trierweiler, a journalist for whom he left fellow Socialist politician Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children.
Gayet is an established actress, and also appeared in one of Hollande’s 2012 campaign commercials, describing him as “marvellous” and “humble and a really good listener”.