French President François Hollande, under fire over an alleged affair, refuses to discuss his personal life but says he will clarify the status of France's first lady before his visit to U.S. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
REPORTER: French President François Hollande faces the press under pressure. While his address in large part focused on mending the economy -- it's a suspected affair with an actress that's grabbing the headlines. His official partner Valerie Trierweiler has been in hospital since last Friday after a celebrity magazine published photos of what it said was Hollande in a motorcycle helmet visiting an actress after hours. With Hollande due to visit President Barack Obama at the White House next month -- he was asked who will be the First Lady of France on that trip.
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "I understand your question and I am sure you will understand my response. Everyone in their personal life can face trials. That's our case. These are painful moments. But I have one principle, and that is that personal affairs should be treated privately, respecting each person's intimacy. So this is neither the place nor the moment to discuss that. But, even if I do not respond to any question on that topic today, I will do so before the visit you have talked about."
REPORTER: Parisians appear to be shrugging it off.
PASSER-BY DAVID SAYING: "What's the problem? Imagine if you wanted to see somebody, you can do it. Why shouldn't he be allowed to?"
REPORTER: Although France does not have an official First Lady title, Trierweiler has her own office, a chauffeur and an adviser, and accompanies Hollande on visits.
If you shrug something off, you to treat it as if it is not important. • She shrugged off the criticism as harmless.
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