26 Jan 2014

French president splits from partner

7:42 am on 26 January 2014

French President Francois Hollande has separated from his partner Valerie Trierweiler, after allegations he had an affair with an actress.

Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler in 2013.

Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler in 2013. Photo: AFP

The president delivered a statement on Saturday through the French news agency AFP.

Two weeks ago Celebrity magazine Closer published a report that the president was having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet. It ran pictures of what it said was the president wearing a motorcycle helmet arriving via scooter to visit Ms Gayet.

Ms Trierweiler, 48, spent a week in hospital after the revelations.

The French leader has never denied having an affair with Ms Gayet and had promised to clarify the situation on his relationship with Ms Trierweiler before his official visit to Washington on 11 February.

Mr Hollande is the most unpopular president in modern France, according to polls. Reuters reports he has struggled to live up to a promise to get unemployment, at present near 11 percent, firmly on a downward trend.