Paris, Jan 25 IANS | 9 months ago

French President Francois Hollande is expected to announce his separation from partner Valerie Trierweiler Saturday following a media storm over allegations that he was having an affair with an actress, according to media reports.

Trierweiler, 49, Hollande's partner since 2006, was coming to India Sunday for a social cause. The president wanted to resolve the issue regarding their future before her departure, the Guardian reported citing Journal du Dimanche.

"The press release from the Élysee Palace should be released sometime today (Saturday)," the Journal du Dimanche said on its website.

The president's spokesman declined to comment on the report and Trierweiler's spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Closer magazine published a report two weeks ago that 59-year-old Hollande was having an affair with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet. It published pictures of the president wearing a helmet arriving via scooter to visit the actress at night.

Gayet had first been introduced to Hollande in 2011 by his former partner Segolene Royal, a senior member of his Socialist party and a 2007 presidential candidate. Hollande has four children with Royal, who announced their separation just after she lost the 2007 election to Nicolas Sarkozy.

Earlier, a press conference to unveil economic plans was overshadowed by questions over Hollande's private life, as was a trip to Rome to meet the pope Friday.

Trierweiler, a columnist for the weekly magazine Paris Match, is not married to Hollande but assumed the role of first lady at official functions after his election in May 2012.

Hollande is the most unpopular president in modern France, according to polls. He has struggled to live up to a promise to reduce unemployment, currently stuck near 11 percent.

(Posted on 25-01-2014)

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