Francois Hollande has been having an affair 'for years', claims Closer
French president sees first lady in hospital amid more allegations about his private life
The Guardian in Paris
Francois Hollande has visited France's first lady for the first time since she was hospitalised for rest following a gossip magazine's report that he was having an affair with an actor.
An official at the presidential palace said yesterday that Hollande visited Valerie Trierweiler the previous evening. Doctors had previously prevented the French president, 59, from visiting his partner, saying she needed a complete break.
Meanwhile the tumult surrounding Hollande has grown with the publication of a string of further allegations concerning his personal life.
In a second "special edition" that went on sale yesterday morning, Closer claimed to have more allegations of the on-off relationship between Hollande and actor Julie Gayet, which the magazine said has lasted for more than two years and has included weekends spent together in the south of France.
The magazine alleges that far from being simply a fling, the couple have been living an "eventful idyll" since 2011, shortly before Hollande's campaign to be the Socialist party's nominee in the 2012 presidential election.
During the past few years, Closer claimed, the couple have endured "ruptures and reconciliations". The magazine reported yesterday that Hollande met Gayet at an informal gathering of friends and political allies in a Paris restaurant in 2011 after the actor supported Segolene Royal, Hollande's former partner and mother of his four children, in her unsuccessful battle against Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.
Trierweiler was taken to hospital a week ago after Closer published revelations of Hollande's alleged affair.
Trierweiler, 48, was reported by RTL radio on Thursday to be "very tired to the point of not being able to stand up", and suffering from low blood pressure as well as low morale. "She hopes to leave with her head held high and shows a willingness to fight at least for her dignity."
Le Nouvel Observateur said she "has not the slightest intention of packing her bags". "She's OK to forgive, but not OK to leave," it said.