Is Francois Hollande's mistress pregnant?

France's President Francois Hollande, right, and French actress Julie Gayet, who is reported to be pregnant with his child. Photo / AFP
France's President Francois Hollande, right, and French actress Julie Gayet, who is reported to be pregnant with his child. Photo / AFP

Julie Gayet, the 41-year-old actress who is believed to be having an affair with French President Francois Hollande, is reported to be four months pregnant.

The sensational claim, posted on the official Twitter account of the lereel.fr website, is said to have come from a source close to Hollande and been confirmed by a journalist working for the M6 television news channel.

A translation of the post reads: "Julie Gayet is four months pregnant according to a source close of Francois Hollande at the Elysee, information confirmed by a journalist at M6."

Today President Hollande refused to answer whether his long-term girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler is still France's First Lady, but said he would clarify her status before his trip to Washington next month.

As he faced the world's media for the first time since the news broke, Mr Hollande, 59, sidestepped specifics during questioning from journalists at the Elysee Palace press conference in Paris, but acknowledged he was going through a difficult period in his private life.

Mr Hollande said he would answer the question of Ms Trierweiler's status before his planned visit to the US on February 11.

He said the presidential partner had "no official status" in France, and he was determined to keep costs down, whoever was confirmed as First Lady.

Trierweiler is the first person to hold the post who was not married to the president.

"Everyone of us can go through difficult periods in our personal life and that is our case," he explained.

"They are painful moments, but I have one principle and that is that private matters are dealt with privately within a respectful intimacy. Therefore it is neither the time nor the place to do so," he finished.

But, referring to the trip to meet President Obama, Mr Hollande said: "I will reply to no question on this subject today, I will do so by the deadline you have mentioned (the state visit to the US)."

Mr Hollande also launched a verbal attack on French Closer magazine, which on Friday ran pictures of him sneaking in and out of a Paris flat, where he allegedly meets actress Julie Gayet, saying he might sue them.

Asked if he would tighten France's already very strict privacy laws, Mr Hollande said: "No, I am against changing laws for personal convenience.

"But my outrage is total. We are a country of great freedoms in France, but we do have a respect for private life and for human dignity."

The pictures published in Closer included one of a man the magazine said was Hollande being ferried by motorcycle to an apartment where Ms Gayet waited.

When asked by a reporter if his security had ever been compromised as suggested by some reports about his affair, Mr Hollande answered: "When I travel officially and when I travel on a private basis, I have protection that is less suffocating. But I am protected everywhere."

The issue even reached the floor of parliament today.

A leading legislator from the opposition conservative UMP party accused the president of taking unreasonable risks with his security.

"The president is not a normal citizen during his term. He is the chief of our armies. He is the keystone of our institutions. His protection should not suffer from any amateurism," Jacob said in the National Assembly.

"The president should be aware of the level of responsibility that he exercises, be aware that his role is greater than his person, and be aware that he incarnates the image of France in the eyes of the world."

Photographer Sebastian Valiela said he was surprised at the lack of security for Hollande, whose government has been repeatedly threatened by al-Qaida.

"To go to the rendezvous with Julie Gayet, he was taking some risks,' he told RTL. "As soon as he got into the apartment, his guards left."

Actress Julie Gayet, who is reported to have had an affair with French President Francois Hollande. Photo / AFP
Actress Julie Gayet, who is reported to have had an affair with French President Francois Hollande. Photo / AFP

Mr Hollande is said to have made a full confession to his partner the night before the full details were published.

Twitter was awash with comments during the press conference in which many said he was not grilled adequately.

Journalist Andrew O Neil wrote: "As a French taxpayer I'm paying for First Lady. Surely we have right to know who she is!? But then Hollande always had trouble make up mind."

At the start of the high-profile press conference Mr Hollande promised to slash $50 billion euros in public spending over three years.

Today a survey for Le Nouvel Observateur magazine showed a three-point jump among women in approval for the French leader, from 23 per cent in December to 26 per cent.

In contrast, men in France seem far less impressed by the president's reported liaisons and his rating stayed at 26 per cent.

Ms Trierweiler, 48, is still in a hospital bed in central Paris, where she has been lying since news of Mr Hollande's affair with Julie Gayet, 41, broke last Friday.

There is nothing physically wrong with her, but she said learning about the relationship was like 'being hit by a high-speed train' and is desperate to win public sympathy.

Intriguingly, an Elysee Palace spokesman would not say to today whether Mr Hollande had even visited his de fact first lady in hospital, where Ms Trierweiler has so far spent four nights.

This morning Francois Rebsamen, a Socialist MP, said the revelations showed the entire idea of a First Lady was outdated.

"There is no longer a First Lady in France - these practices are outdated, passé and should be banned," he told RTL radio.

He added: "François Hollande himself said it at one point: You elect a person. And then this person can live alone, can be single, can live with another man or a woman. It's doesn't interest people and it doesn't come into play."

"This means that there is no First Lady, it's over."

Mother-of-three Ms Trierweiler, 48, has told friends she is ready to forgive her boyfriend if he states both 'publicly and privately' that his affair with Ms Gayet is over.

Mr Hollande has spoken only about the scandal since it was made public last Friday, to say he deplored the intrusion into his privacy.

Despite the media attention, a recent poll found 80 per cent of French people believed Mr Hollande's love life should remain private.

And 90 per cent believed France's struggling economy is the most critical issues facing the nation.

Last night a spokesman said Miss Trierweiler, would stay in hospital 'for another six or eight more days', adding that she needed rest after a "very strong emotional shock".

From her hospital bed, Miss Trierweiler seemed well enough to be orchestrating a campaign to win public sympathy.

She let it be known that she felt she had been "hit by a high-speed train" - but was ready to forgive Mr Hollande.

The couple are not married but have been together for six years, making her the de facto first lady when the Socialist leader became President in 2012.

The divorced magazine journalist, who still writes a column for Paris Match, has been widely criticised for her high living.

She has five taxpayer-funded staff at her permanent disposal and the use of several homes, jets and limousines.

Miss Trierweiler has been personally briefing French newspaper Le Parisien, which last night quoted "a friend" as saying: "She seems ready to forgive, but she wants to know quickly what Francois Hollande's intentions are."

Frédéric Gerschel of Le Parisien later said he had spoken directly to Miss Trierweiler.

He said: "She has made it clear that a clarification is needed. She knows that, if she is no longer first lady she cannot continue to have an office in the Elysee and make use of state funds."

- Daily Mail

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