Hollande on Affair Rumors: 'These Are Difficult Moments'

French president dodges questions during press conference
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2014 10:58 AM CST
This Sunday, May 6, 2012, file photo shows French president-elect Francois Hollande kissing his companion, Valerie Trierweiler.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
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(Newser) – French President Francoise Hollande is giving a news briefing, technically about France's economy, but the BBC reports that the very first question he took was about reports that he cheated on his girlfriend, who is currently in the hospital. The question: "Is Valerie Trierweiler still first lady?" Hollande refused to answer that specifically, but said he would address the issue before his trip to the US next month, and that the press conference was not the correct time or place.

"Everyone in his private life can go through difficult periods, these are difficult moments," Hollande said, according to the Independent. "But I have one principle—that private matters should be dealt with privately." Today's press conference is just the third of Hollande's presidency, and the first time he has faced the media since the cheating rumors surfaced, CNN notes. Interestingly, Time reports, Hollande's dismal approval rating actually went up 2 points to 26% after the report came out, according to one poll. (Read more Francois Hollande stories.)

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