To be fair, he had nowhere to go but up. French President Francois Hollande is currently extremely unpopular, but when reports broke that he is cheating on his longterm partner, Valérie Trierweiler, with much younger actress Julie Gayet earlier this month, he saw a small increase in his approval ratings. And while only 24 percent of the public approves of his job, 77 percent say his love life is his own business. At a press conference today, Hollande said, "These are painful moments, but I have one principle: private affairs are dealt with in private. This is not the place nor the time to do this." He also declined to answer questions about whether Trierweiler was still the country's first lady, which came up, since they are not married.
The French might not mind unfaithful politicians, but the details of the affair are catching international attention. The magazine Closer was the first to report on the story, and since then, the details sound like something that could only happen in France.
To get you up to speed on this story, we're recapping the most French details about it.
- There are photos of the presidential bodyguard delivering croissants the morning after the president and Julie reportedly spent the night together.
- France's "unofficial" first lady and the president's current partner, Valérie Trierweiler, is in the hospital after suffering a "severe bout of the blues" following the news of the affair.
- Valérie reportedly wants to save the relationship, so long as the president "clarifies his intentions."
- The apartment the president is using for the affair is allegedly linked to the Corsican mafia.
- Julie Gayet, the actress in question, has dabbled in full-frontal nudity.
- President Hollande has already been at the center of a romantic affair. His partner from 1973 to 2007, Ségolène Royal, was the person to go head to head against Nicolas Sarkozy in the last presidential election. A month after her 2007 loss to Sarkozy, they announced their separation. Soon, France learned the details of Hollande's relationship with Trierweiler, who was considered the "other woman" at the time.
- There are new rumors that the current mistress might be pregnant, but so far, those are completely unconfirmed.
Check out some photos of the parties involved below, and learn more about them below.