Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

French president brushes aside questions over affair

It was arguably the most important speech of François Hollande's presidency. His job approval remains at nearly the lowest level of any president in French history. His economic policies have failed to make major inroads in addressing chronic unemployment and persistent deficits. His Socialist Party is restive.

Then there was that other matter weighing on him: the revelation last week of his affair with actor Julie Gayet and the drama of France's brokenhearted first lady checking herself into a hospital, "in shock," according to her staff.

So after a long prelude in which he delivered a sober and detailed analysis of France's challenges and his proposals for addressing them, the questioning began at the Elysee Palace in Paris, and the first was on the affair and where it left his companion and official consort, Valerie Trierweiler.

"Everyone in his private life can go through difficult periods; these are difficult moments," Hollande responded. "But I have one principle: Private matters should be dealt with privately."

However, just seconds later it seemed obvious that much in his personal life had yet to be resolved. When the journalist who had asked the first question, Alain Barluet, the head of the Presidential Press Association, asked whether Trierweiler was still the first lady, Hollande was noncommittal. He said he would make clear who the first lady is before he leaves on a trip to Washington in a few weeks.

His responses will likely satisfy the French, said Pierre Haski, the top editor at Rue89, an online publication. "There was a kind of sincerity in his first statement," said Haski, adding: "Obviously anyone can be in his shoes and would be so embarrassed to have the dirty laundry of a couple in public. I don't think this will be analyzed as anything against him, to be honest."

French president brushes aside questions over affair 01/14/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:42am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Estimated 5,000 people marvel at MOSI over solar eclipse

    Human Interest

    Packing pinhole cereal box viewers, cardboard glasses and curiosity, solar gawkers gathered outside Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry on Monday for a show that required no ticket.

    At center, Sophia Butter, 8, and Kristina Butera, both of Valrico, watch the sun through eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. MOSI will reopen after renovations on November 18. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  3. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide

    Accidents

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury when his unmarked police truck collided with a patrol SUV while the officers were tracking a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  4. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.