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Sex Scandal in France Upstages Economic Concerns

PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- France is abuzz about a tabloid report accusing President Francois Hollande of carrying on an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

Closer magazine reported the story last Friday and over the weekend, first lady Valerie Trierweiler was admitted to the hospital for what was described as "rest and some tests."

Hollande has not exactly denied the report of the affair but nonetheless lashed out at Closer, calling the pictorial of him visiting Gayet's flat an "attack on the right to privacy."  He's also threatening to sue.

Hollande and Trierweiler are not married.  The president left his previous partner, with whom he has four children, to live with Trierweiler.

Meanwhile, France is in the throes of tough economic times -- like the rest of Europe -- but a presidential news conference scheduled for Tuesday has taken a back seat to the alleged affair.

In one sense, Hollande seems to have French public opinion on his side.  Seventy-five percent of poll respondents say his private life should be no one else's business.

On the other hand, the French don't like their president.  He only gets a 25 percent approval rating.

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