In Brief

Trierweiler in hospital with 'the blues' over Hollande 'affair'

French president faces questions about First Lady's status following claims of alleged affair with actress

THE French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler has spent the weekend in hospital with a "severe case of the blues" following reports of President Francois Hollande's alleged affair. 

France's Closer magazine claimed on Friday that Hollande had repeatedly spent the night at a Paris flat with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet.

The Elysée Palace has since revealed that Trierweiler, 49, was taken to a Paris hospital after hearing the allegations and is expected to stay there until today. She is said to have gone into hospital to "get some rest and have some tests done".

Hollande, 59, has threatened to sue Closer magazine for breach of privacy but has not denied the affair.

"What began as a severe embarrassment for President Hollande is turning into a double, personal and political, crisis," says The Independent.

The president had planned to hold a press conference tomorrow to unveil details of a promised "acceleration" towards a more market-oriented economic policy. But this risks "falling flat on its face" unless Hollande can find a way to defuse "potentially explosive questions" about his alleged affair, says the newspaper.

Hollande will respond to such questions tomorrow "if he is asked", Elysée sources said.

As Trierweiler – sometimes dubbed France's "First Girlfriend" – is not married to Hollande, questions are likely to be asked about her status. The couple are due to visit Barack and Michelle Obama in Washington next month, but until Hollande chooses between his mistress and girlfriend any appearance of Trierweiler by his side "will appear hypocritical", a friend of the president told Le Monde.

Hollande left Ségolène Royal, the mother of his four children and fellow Socialist politician, in 2007 for Trierweiler, a journalist for the celebrity magazine Paris Match.

Royal yesterday refused to comment on the alleged affair, saying she did not want to fuel the debate on "a soap opera that is very far from the concerns of the French".

She told France 2 television: "We must turn the page and get back to work."

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