March 11, 2014
Hollande ‘mistress’ files Closer lawsuit
PARIS — French actress Julie Gayet, who has been romantically linked to French President François Hollande in a scandal that has engulfed the French press and society, has filed a suit for 54,000 euros against Closer magazine for violating her right to privacy.
The French tabloid last week alleged the two are romantically invovled and also published images of a man they claim to be Hollande leaving Gayet’s apartment.
Closer itself made the announcement yesterday, revealing that Gayet has sought 50,000 euros in compensation, and an additional 4,000 euros to cover her legal costs.
Assuming a court finds that her rights were violated, Closer will also be obliged to publish the decision on its cover. Closer has already announced that its next issue, due today, will add details about the alleged secret affair.
It has been reported that Closer paid 30,000 euros to a paparazzi for the fotos of Hollande and Gayet. President Hollande had already threatened to sue Closer but has since announced he will not do so.
Voici, another French tabloid, has alleged that Ségolène Royal, Hollande’s former partner and a former Socialist presidential candidate, has visited Valérie Trierweiler at her hospital bed.
Trierweiler has been in hospital for days following the revelations suffering from a “nervous crisis.” Voici has alleged that Royal visited Trierweiler on behalf of Hollande, who has yet to visit her, to encourage her to accept that her relationship with the French President must end.
A rumour that the first lady had taken an overdose of pills after learning about the affair were categorically denied by her friends.
Hollande has consistently resisted media efforts to obtain more information on the affair and has vociferously criticized Closer for its intrusion into his private life. Until recently, the French press respected the privacy of political figures but this tradition has been eroded.
For its part, Closer’s circulation today’s special edition has been more than doubled from it’s normal run of 150,000 and its editors have not ruled out a run of 600,000 copies.
Last Friday, when the allegations first came to light, newsstands throughout the city sold out of the tabloid before noon.
In addition to the political ramifications, which have included the withdrawal of Gayet’s appointment to a non-remunerative government position, social media has been abuzz as several online games, jokes and doctored pictures circulate, each poking fun at the President’s alleged indiscretions. The scandal and subsequent notoriety for Hollande have not helped his approval ratings.
A recent informal online survey of just over 1,000 voters has placed Hollande’s approval rating at 17 percent, matching his rating in December. Hollande is one of the most disliked French presidents in recent history.
Herald with Télam