French website to remove report on alleged Hollande affair

Agence France-Presse
Magazine Closer says it will remove the report on the alleged affair of French President Francois Hollande from its website, after Hollande threatened to sue

RIGHT TO PRIVACY. French President Francois Hollande (C) stands with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (2ndL) and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (2ndR) on January 9, 2014 in Paris. Alain Jocard/AFP Photo

PARIS, France (2nd UPDATE) – The French magazine that revealed an alleged affair between President Francois Hollande and actress Julie Gayet said Friday, January 10, it would remove the report from its website at her request.

“Julie Gayet’s lawyer contacted us to request we remove from the website all mention of this relationship,” Laurence Pieau, editor of Closer, told Agence France-Presse.

She gave no specific reason for the order but hinted at privacy issues, adding the information would likely be taken off the site on Friday evening.

Hollande has reacted furiously to the allegation – which were backed up by photos reportedly showing the 59-year-old president entering Gayet’s flat – but did not deny it, threatening legal action over what he called an attack on his right to privacy.

Pieau however said the magazine had so far had no contact with the French presidency.

France’s media is subject to strict laws on invasion of privacy, which can be punished with a year’s jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($61,000).

Speaking to AFP earlier Friday in a personal capacity, Hollande condemned the coverage as an “attack on the right to privacy,” to which he “like every other citizen has a right.”

Hollande told the AFP in a statement he was “looking into possible action, including legal action,” against the weekly magazine.

Closer said its Friday print edition would feature 7 pages of revelations and pictures on the 59-year-old president’s alleged relationship with Gayet.

Closer, echoing reports published on various websites in recent days, said Hollande routinely drives through Paris on his scooter to spend the night with the 41-year-old. –

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