Hollande’s alleged mistress sues for violation of privacy
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A preliminary investigation has been launched into a legal complaint filed by actress Julie Gayet after French tabloid weekly Closer printed photos of her driving her car, judicial sources said Tuesday.
The photographs in question are different from those Closer published on January 10 that allegedly showed French President François Hollande arriving at the actress’s residence on the back of a scooter with the implication that the two were having an affair.
The criminal complaint for violation of privacy was filed at a court in Nanterre, where Closer has its headquarters, French daily Le Monde reported. The charges can carry a one-year prison sentence and a €45,000 fine.
Gayet’s complaint is based on a tenet of French law that defines a car as a private place and thus protected by privacy laws.
The actress previously filed a civil privacy suit against Closer, claiming €50,000 in damages and €4,000 in legal fees, for publishing the photos that linked her to the president.
Gayet and Hollande have neither confirmed nor denied the reports of an affair, with the president insisting on his right to "a private life".
Shortly after the Closer revelations, Hollande announced his separation from long-term partner Valérie Trierweiler.
Gayet, 41, has kept a low profile since news of the affair broke and her friends have told various media outlets that she has no desire to replace Treirweiler as first lady.
She has since been nominated for a César award, the French equivalent of an Oscar, for playing a ministerial adviser who uses seduction to realise her ambitions.
The divorced mother of two is also expected to appear on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival later in the year for having provided the voice of Grace Kelly in the French version of "Grace of Monaco", a biopic starring Nicole Kidman.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)