UK & World News

  • 25 January 2014, 16:23

'Francois Hollande To Separate' Claim Denied

Officials in France have denied reports that the country's president is to announce he is separating from his partner.

French newspaper Journal du Dimanche claimed Francois Hollande was expected to confirm he is leaving First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, following allegations he had an affair with a French actress.

However, a spokesman for the Elysee Palace, the president's official residence, told Sky News the "rumour" was "not true" and said it was not preparing to issue a statement.

Earlier this month, Mr Hollande admitted he was going through a "painful time" in his personal life, after a French gossip magazine printed photos it claimed showed him spending a night with Julie Gayet.

Closer has since removed the report from its website, although it did not order copies of the publication to be pulled from newsstands.

Ms Gayet, 41, is suing the magazine for ?50,000 (41,650) in damages and ?4,000 (3,330) in legal costs, claiming it breached French privacy rules.

Mr Hollande, who has himself threatened legal action over the pictures, said he was "totally indignant" about the story, which he claimed threatened the principle of "respect for private life and people's dignity".

Although the president is not married to Ms Trierweiler, they are long-term partners.

She was admitted to hospital on January 10 after the allegations about Mr Hollande's private life were published, and was released only last weekend.

Journal du Dimanche, which did not cite its sources in its report, claimed the president wanted to settle the issue of his relationship with the first lady before she embarks on a charity trip to India.

He is due to travel to the US next month and previously promised to clarify matters before then.

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