Actress sues over Hollande affair report

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16 Jan 2019

Actress Julie Gayet is suing Closer, the magazine that reported she had an affair with French President Francois Hollande.

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The move, under France’s strict privacy legislation, comes as concern mounts over the well-being of First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, who was hospitalised last Friday, hours after the magazine revealed her partner’s liaison with Gayet.

In a revelation that added to the growing impression that Hollande is seeking to end the relationship, a source close to the couple said Hollande had not been to see Trierweiler since she was admitted to Paris’s Pitie-Salpetriere – a leading hospital but significantly not the one where major public figures get treatment.

Closer said Gayet, 41, was seeking 50,000 ($A76,000) in damages and 4000 euros in legal costs over the magazine’s publication of photos of her and Hollande arriving separately for trysts at a borrowed flat near the presidential Elysee Palace.

Hollande has also slammed the report as an attack on his right to privacy but has ruled out legal action on his own behalf.

If Gayet’s case is upheld, Closer will also have to publish the legal verdict on its cover page – but its scoops should still be a money earner.

Earlier this week, the Italian-owned publication said it was on track to sell 600,000 copies of its edition with the Hollande/Gayet pictures, twice its usual circulation.

The magazine has promised another series of pictures and fresh revelations about the affair in a new edition on Friday.

Aides to Trierweiler said earlier this week that she had been hospitalised for tests, adding after her stay was extended that she needed further rest.

They have since released no further details of her condition and Hollande’s only comment on her health was a terse, “she’s resting”, during a press conference on Tuesday at which he batted away questions about the affair and its implications.

A source close to the couple told AFP that Hollande had not been to visit Trierweiler and confirmed media suggestions that the relationship had been unravelling for months.

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