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French President Francois Hollande has been caught trying to pull a Clinton, but unlike the former US President, Hollande is not lying about it, nor is he confirming anything. Meanwhile, rumors about his affair with actress Julie Gayet, 41, are spreading like wildfire online. The latest – the mistress is pregnant.
Hollande was cornered at a press conference on January 14, 2014, where he had planned to unveil his latest plans on how to fix the economy, unemployment, and a long list of other social issues. The first question was: “Valerie Trierweiler, is she still today the First Lady of France?”
Trierweiler, 48, and the President have been living together for seven years but never married, which makes her status of ‘First Lady’ quite ambiguous. Still, there’s nothing unclear about the estimated US$115,000 monthly cost to taxpayers for her role.
When the news of her husband’s affair broke early 2014 she collapsed in shock and was taken to hospital. Closer magazine printed pictures of the President wearing a helmet and riding a scooter, allegedly to meet his mistress in an apartment only a stone’s throw away from the Elysee Palace.
The President was clearly shaken at the press conference when questions about his infidelity were asked.
“My outrage is total. I am totally indignant, and it is not only personally that I’m indignant – it is a violation that affects a fundamental freedom, and could involve all of you,” he said and pointed at the 600 journalists assembled from around the world.
“We are a country of great freedoms in France, but we do have a respect for private life and for human dignity.”
His remarks beg an obvious follow up question: is he talking about the fundamental freedom to have an affair?
Hollande is scheduled to visit Barack and Michelle Obama on February 11 and said he would make up his mind regarding whom his ‘First Lady’ is before going to Washington.
From her hospital bed, Trierweiler has been briefing French newspaper Le Parisien daily on her condition. She has also said that she’s willing to forgive her partner of seven years if he makes up his mind quickly.
Bizarrely, Hollande’s approval ratings among women have gone up from 23 percent to 26 percent since news of his affair broke. Le Point magazine conducted a poll on its website and 89.2 percent of the 13,136 people who took part said the President should drop Trierweiler.
The affair with Gayet has even spawned an online video game where players take control of the President as he sets off on his scooter to meet his mistress. But there are lots of hurdles in his way, including photographers, journalists, and of course Valerie Trierweiler.