Court hears Hollande ‘affair’ pics case

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IOL pic mar6 hollande affair AFP This combination image shows French actress Julie Gayet and President Francois Hollande. Their relationship made headlines when it was discovered. Pictures: Valery Hache and Thomas Samson

Paris - Julie Gayet, the actress whose alleged liaison with French President Francois Hollande led to his split from his longtime partner, went to court Thursday to demand damages from the magazine that revealed their purported affair, local media reported.

A court in Nanterre, west of Paris, heard Gayet's complaint that Closer magazine invaded her privacy by snapping pictures of her arriving at an apartment she and Hollande allegedly used for their trysts.

The photographs, which also showed Hollande arriving by scooter at the same address, caused scandal when they were published on January 10. Closer has defended the images, saying they were in the public interest. Two weeks after the revelations, Hollande announced his split from his partner Valerie Trierweiler.

French has some of the toughest privacy laws in the world but magazines like Closer have become more brazen in their coverage of the rich and famous, as damages awards are usually relatively low.

Gayet is seeking 50 000 euros in damages. The 41-year-old performer was not in court for the hearing.

She has kept a low profile since the scandal broke. Her appearance at last week's French film awards ceremony was her first in public since January.

A ruling in the case was set for March 27.


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