UK & World News
Hollande 'Affair' Story Pulled From Website
A French magazine that published photos allegedly showing French President Francois Hollande having an affair with an actress has said it will remove the story from its website.
Closer printed seven pages of pictures taken outside a Paris apartment, including an image of a man it says is Mr Hollande arriving on the back of a scooter wearing a black helmet before leaving in the morning.
The gossip magazine also showed a woman, which it claims is 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet, arriving at the apartment at night.
"Around New Year's Day, a helmeted head of state joined the actress at her apartment, where he has got into the habit of spending the night," Closer said on its website.
However, it later said it would remove the online report.
Managing Editor Laurence Pieau said: "At the request of the actress Julie Gayet, Closer will remove from its website information published today regarding her alleged affair with President Fran?s Hollande.
"Julie Gayet's lawyer contacted us to ask us to remove all references relating to this from the site and from Google searches.
"We will remove the news, probably tonight, because this is a very clear injunction. However, we have had no contact with the Elys?(Palace)," she added.
The editor said the magazine would not be pulled from newsstands.
It claimed that the person pictured driving the scooter in the photos is the president's bodyguard and Closer also published a picture allegedly showing him fetching croissants for the couple.
The magazine also claimed it was a security concern that the president is apparently being protected by only one bodyguard.
Mr Hollande, who has threatened legal action over the pictures, is not married but has a long-term partner, Valerie Trierweiler, who acts as France's first lady.
The 59-year-old also has four children from a previous relationship with a senior member of his Socialist Party, Segolene Royal.
In a statement, Mr Hollande said he was "looking into possible action, including legal action".
A source from the president's office added that Mr Hollande "greatly deplores the invasion of his privacy, to which he has a right as any citizen does".
Gayet, a mother of two, is an established actress in France who also appeared in a 2012 election film for Mr Hollande.
In March, she made a complaint over rumours of the affair, which she said were a breach of privacy.
Opinion polls show that Mr Hollande is deeply unpopular in France, mainly because of his inability to revive the economy, but the effect of the allegations remains to be seen.
French voters have proved to be reasonably tolerant of the personal lives of their leaders.
Jacques Chirac, president from 1995 to 2007, is said to have had many affairs, while predecessor Francois Mitterrand had a daughter born to a mistress.
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