'My private life is my private life', says Hollande friend Gayet

French actress Julie Gayet presents a documentary Cineast(e) she co-directed, during a show at the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York, on March 8, 2014. Gayet, who has been linked to President Francois Hollande, fended off questions abou
French actress Julie Gayet presents a documentary Cineast(e) she co-directed, during a show at the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York, on March 8, 2014. Gayet, who has been linked to President Francois Hollande, fended off questions about their relationship. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - French actress Julie Gayet, who has been linked to President Francois Hollande, fended off questions about their relationship on Saturday in New York.

"My private life is my private life," Gayet shot back when a reporter asked about her personal life, as she took part in a showing and discussion of her documentary "Cineast(e)s" in Manhattan.

The crowd booed when questions veered into Gayet's private life. And her fans cheered her refusal to answer.

"Everything is going well," she said when asked about her visit. "I am just a bit tired" after the trip, she added.

Gayet, 41, on Thursday filed a lawsuit seeking 50,000 euros (S$88,000) in compensation, as well as 4,000 euros in legal costs, from Closer magazine.

Closer made waves in early January by publishing photographs of Hollande arriving on a scooter at an apartment near the Elysee presidential palace.

The magazine said the 59-year-old president was a regular visitor to the flat for trysts with the actress, with whom he had been having an on-off affair for more than two years.

Gayet has also pressed criminal charges against a photographer who took snaps of her in her car, which Closer published on Jan 17.

Under French law, the inside of a car is considered a private space and subject to the country's strict privacy laws.

Mr Hollande split with longtime partner Valerie Trierweiler following the scandal but has refused to say whether he is still seeing Gayet.

Gayet, who has been lying low since the scandal broke, made her first public appearance since when she attended the ceremony for the Cesars, the French Oscars, last Friday.

She was nominated for best supporting actress - ironically for a role as a seductive foreign ministry official called Valerie. She did not win.

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