French President François Hollande's New Year's address risks being overshadowed by allegations of a love affair, although the French public appears indifferent to scandal. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
REPORTER: French President François Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler in happier times. Now the French President, who failed to keep a promise to the nation to halt rising unemployment, is dealing with media allegations of a secret affair. On Friday, a celebrity magazine purportedly showed pictures of a night time visit by Hollande to a mistress. Those allegations could steal the show Tuesday, when he delivers the traditional start-of-year news conference. Hollande's office complained of a breach of privacy but issued no denial. His official partner was hospitalized hours after the magazine hit newsstands. Her spokesman said she needed quote: "rest."
PARISIAN WOMAN, NADEGE: "What matters to me is what he does for France. After that it's his private life - what does it matter?"
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: "No, it doesn't surprise me coming from politicians. It's always been like that."
REPORTER: Political science professor Christian Delporte told Reuters Hollande should come clean.
POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AND MEDIA ANALYST, CHRISTIAN DELPORTE: "It's important for François Hollande that this affair does not drag on, that it doesn't take up the headlines for a long time. And that's why it's important for him to close the episode with a clear, neat, and precise response, but which does not in its turn feed the controversy and the press articles."
REPORTER: Polls already show Hollande is the most unpopular president in France's modern history for his failure to tackle unemployment and a sense that he lacks authority.
1. To steal the show means to attract more attention and/or praise than other people in a particular situation. • As always, the children stole the show.
2. To come clean is to admit and explain something that you have kept as a secret. • Isn't it time the government came clean about their plans for education?