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French first lady in hospital after reports of Hollande affair

Paris: French first lady Valerie Trierweiler was admitted to hospital on the weekend following reports of an affair between President Francois Hollande and an actress. She was due to be discharged on Monday, local time.

Daily newspaper Le Parisien said on its website earlier that Ms Trierweiler, 48, had been taken to hospital after being shaken by a celebrity magazine's reports of a liaison between her partner Mr Hollande and French actress Julie Gayet.

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"She has been in hospital since Friday. She will leave tomorrow," her spokesman Patrice Biancone told Reuters.

Asked about the future of Ms Trierweiler's relationship with the president, Ms Biancone said: "She needs rest. Then she will decide what to do."

French president Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler in September 2013.
French president Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler in September 2013. Photo: AP

A source at the Elysee declined to comment on Ms Trierweiler's hospitalisation and the magazine report.

"The president is at work. He is preparing Tuesday's news conference," the source said.

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On Tuesday in Paris, Mr Hollande will face the media in a traditional new year news conference that had been scheduled well before the reports of the affair broke.

Mr Hollande, who came to power in May 2012, is expected to announce new measures to boost the French economy, including lower charges for companies, cuts in public spending and a simplification of business regulation.

French first lady Valerie Trierweiler.
French first lady Valerie Trierweiler. Photo: Reuters

Mr Hollande and Ms Trierweiler are scheduled to make a state visit to the United States in February and are set to attend a state dinner with President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on February 11.

On Friday, Mr Hollande, 59, threatened to sue celebrity magazine Closer, complaining of breach of privacy after it said he was having an affair with Ms Gayet, 41.

Affair claims: French actress Julie Gayet.
Affair claims: French actress Julie Gayet. Photo: AFP

Closer published a series of photos of a woman resembling Gayet entering a Paris flat close to the Elysee presidential palace, followed by a man masked by a black motorcycle helmet who the magazine said was Mr Hollande.

Ms Gayet, a mother of two, has dozens of film credits to her name but is little known outside France. Last year, she starred in Quai d'Orsay, in which she plays a vampish diplomatic adviser in the foreign ministry.

Affair claims: actress Julie Gayet.
Affair claims: actress Julie Gayet. 

In March last year she filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor for breach of privacy over Internet rumours alleging she had a relationship with Mr Hollande.

Mr Hollande and Ms Trierweiler, a journalist for celebrity magazine Paris Match, are not married but have been in a long-term relationship for several years.

Mr Hollande has four children from a previous relationship with Segolene Royal, a senior member of his Socialist Party who ran for president against Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Ms Royal announced their separation right after she lost the election.

Speaking on France 2 televison on Sunday, Ms Royal declined to comment on the affair, saying that French people had more important things to worry about.

"It is necessary to turn the page and get back to work," she said.

Reuters