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Trierweiler wants urgent 'clarification' over affair

AFP/The Local · 13 Jan 2014, 18:32

Published: 13 Jan 2014 18:32 GMT+01:00

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Hollande came under mounting pressure on Monday to clear up the confusion created by the latest developments in his complicated love life.

The Socialist leader had been hoping to ride out the storm created by last week's revelation of an affair with Julie Gayet, a blonde actress 18 years his junior.
But any hope of that was shattered on Sunday when it emerged that Hollande's companion of several years and de facto First Lady, Valérie Trierweiler, had been hospitalized with stress.
A French journalist who claimed to have spoken to Trierweiler over the weekend said the woman, considered France's 'First Lady', wanted her situation to be clarified "quickly".
Frédéric Gerschel of French daily Le Parisien who claimed he spoke to Trierweiler on the phone 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 Elysée and make use of state funds. She knows the need for transparency," Gershel told RTL radio.
Symptoms variously described in the media as low blood pressure, exhaustion and a "severe case of the blues" developed within hours of glossy magazine Closer publishing details of 59-year-old Hollande's alleged secret trysts with Gayet, 41, in a borrowed apartment close to his official residence, the Elysée Palace.
Trierweiler, who lives with Hollande at the Elysee, had been expected to leave hospital on Monday but will remain admitted until further notice.
Story continues below…
Friends of the president advised him to move quickly to put an end to the speculation over their future as a couple.
"He has to clarify the situation," said Thierry Mandon, the spokesman for the Socialist Party's parliamentary group.
"He really must clear up his personal situation so that we can address the serious issues we face. He has to do it once, firmly and decisively, and then we don't talk about it any more."

As the Socialist leader, who had pledged a "normal" presidency, came under increasing scrutiny at home and abroad for his alleged affair, attention in France has turned to the issue of whether his safety was compromised.

The apartment used by the couple was rented by a friend of Gayet's, another actress named Emmanuelle Hauck.

Hauck was the girlfriend of François Masini, who had reportedly had close links to the Corsican mafia and was shot dead on the island in May last year.

Before that she was married to actor Michel Ferracci, who has also been linked by the French media to the mafia. Ferracci got an 18-month suspended sentence in November for his role in money laundering.

"The head of the group in charge of security of the president, Sophie Hatt, was been rocked by the scandal and has to provide explanations to her superiors," Le Monde newspaper said on Monday.

It said the mafia links had escaped officials in charge of Hollande's security as well as the fact that the paparazzi had rented a flat in the area to photograph the movements of Hollande and Gayet.

The scandal broke over the weekend with a magazine, Closer, publishing photographs of Gayet, 41, arriving at the apartment building and others showing a helmeted man identified as Hollande also going there on a chauffeur-driven scooter.

Le Monde said Hollande was always accompanied by two policemen, who were personally chosen, during private visits and it was also the case during his trips to the borrowed apartment on the Rue du Cirque, near the presidential palace.

"But these police officers did not investigate the tenant's past and her links to nefarious individuals," it said.

They also failed to notice the photographers who were stalking Hollande and who had rented an apartment nearby to photograph him, it said.

The pensioner owner of the 'tryst' flat who rented to Hauck, meanwhile, denied media reports that the flat belonged to a mafioso or was used for sexual escapades.

I am profoundly shocked by all that is being said about me: that I am a former mafioso, the head of a (major) company or that the flat I lived in for 40 years was a brothel," Jean-Pierre Discazeaux, 71, told AFP.

AFP/The Local (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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