French President Francoise Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler; Julie Gayet (inset)
Jacques Brinon/AP. Inset:Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Wireimage
France's unofficial first lady Valérie Trierweiler, companion to President François Hollande, is in the hospital amid reports that he has been cheating on her with actress Julie Gayet.
Trierweiler was admitted Jan. 10 for "rest and some tests," her office announced Sunday. Press reports say the cause is either "stress" or "intense blues."
The assumed source of her blues? Revelations that Hollande, 59, a lifelong bachelor has been seeing popular French actress Julie Gayet, 41, even as he is living with Trierweiler, 48, his official companion since 2007.
A journalist for Paris Match, Trierweiler has been France's
de facto first lady since Hollande's election, enjoying semi-official status as well as an Elysée office and five-person staff at taxpayer expense.
The alleged affair – reported by the French edition of Closer
magazine – has drawn political fire. Hollande said in a statement he "deeply deplores the attacks on respect for privacy, to which each citizen has a right," according to the Associated Press.
Rumors concerning the President and Gayet, 41, who is separated from the father of her two children, have circulated widely within the past weeks. Closer published images
of Hollande arriving by scooter at an apartment around the corner from the Presidential palace.
Hollande, who replaced former President Nicolas Sarkozy
in 2012, has threatened legal action over the photos, but did not deny the magazine's allegations. Gayet demanded the magazine withdraw its online version of the story.
As for Trierweiler, when she met Hollande, she was married and he was in a 30-year relationship with former Presidential candidate Sègoléne Royal, with whom he has four children. Asked about the latest scandal, Royal told a TV reporter, "I wouldn't want to fuel this soap opera with even the smallest phrase."