Francois Hollande, the French president, has announced his separation Valerie Trierweiler, France’s first lady, following a media storm over allegations he is having an affair with an actress.
Hollande, 59, sought to put an end to turbulence that began two weeks ago when Closer, a celebrity magazine, published a report that he was having an affair with Julie Gayet, a film actress and a Socialist Party supporter.
“I wish to make it known that I have ended my partnership with Valerie Trierweiler,” Hollande said on Saturday.
Announcing the separation, Hollande said he was speaking as an individual and not as head of state since it concerned his private life.
In her first public statement, Trierweiler, 48, thanked the staff of the Elysee presidential palace in a statement on Twitter.
“I will never forget their devotion, nor the emotion at the time of my departure,” she said.
Trierweiler was expected to travel to India on Sunday in honour of an anti-hunger charity, and French media reports said she may speak at a news conference there.
Following Hollande’s announcement, the White House said on Saturday that President Barack Obama still “looks forward” to meeting Hollande next month.