Hollande Brushes Off Question About Affair

"Private matters should be treated in private," French president says during press conference

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French President Francois Hollande told journalists at a press conference today that “private matters should be treated in private” as he answered questions for the first time since reports emerged of his alleged affair with French actress Julie Gayet on Friday.

The news conference was a long-planned event at which Hollande intended to unveil policies to help France’s struggling economy and, as planned, he opened the event with extended comments about his economic plans. Once he had finished speaking a male journalist immediately asked Hollande to clarify, ahead of his planned visit to the U.S. next month, whether his partner Valerie Trierweiler was still the First Lady.

“Everyone in their personal life can encounter difficulties,” replied Hollande. “But I have one principle: Private matters should be treated in private. This is neither the time nor the moment to do this. But if I reply to no question on this subject today, I will do so by the deadline you have mentioned,” suggesting that he would clarify the situation by the time of his U.S. visit.

Hollande has not denied the allegations about Gayet but said he “deeply deplored” the magazine’s intrusion into his personal life.