AirTalk for January 15, 2014

Gasp! French president Francois Hollande embroiled in sex scandal

French President Francois Hollande Gives A Press Conference  At Elysee Palace

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

French president Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference to present his 2014 policy plans at the Elysee presidential palace on January 14, 2014, in Paris, France. This high-profile press conference was initially expected to culminate with a key announcement on reforms to spur economic growth and create jobs but it is yet mostly seen as his first public appearance since news of his alleged affair with a French actress became public.

A French magazine, Closer, published exclusive photos last week showing a man it alleged to be French president Francois Hollande arriving at the apartment of actress Julie Gayet by scooter. The man's face was obscured by the helmet he was wearing, but the magazine said he could be positively identified as France's socialist president by the shoes he was wearing.

Hollande, who is unmarried but is in a long-term relationship, has not denied the affair allegations. While the French public seems just tepidly interested in the scandal, the French press has been having a field day. Has the scandal done irreparable harm to the Hollande presidency?  How would it derailed his plans to get the lackluster French economy back on track?


Craig Copetas, Correspondent-at-Large at Quartz, digitally native news outlet launched by Atlantic Media. He is based in Paris, France.


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