Hollande admits 'painful' times but refuses affair questions
PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande admitted on Tuesday he was going through a painful time in his private life but refused to say whether his relationship with his long-term girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler is over after the revelation of an affair.
Trierweiler, France's de facto First Lady, has been in hospital since Friday with stress linked to last week's revelation that he has been having a liason with Julie Gayet, a blonde actress 18 years his junior.
Hollande said that the issue of whether Trierweiler accompanies him on an official trip to Washington next month would be resolved before then. The couple are due to spend a night at the White House as guests of Barack and Michelle Obama.
At an eagerly anticipated press conference at his official residence, the Elysee Palace, Hollande, 59, insisted on his right to address his personal problems in private.