FRENCH President Francois Hollande has conceded he is going through "painful moments" with his partner but side-stepped specifics on his personal life during a news conference in Paris.

Mr Hollande's partner, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, has been in hospital since Friday, when Closer magazine published photos it said proved Mr Hollande was having a secret affair with an actress. The report has heaped new problems on the already unpopular Mr Hollande, whose announcement of economic measures meant to encourage hiring was nearly over­shadowed by the scandal.

He told a major news conference Ms Trierweiler was resting but insisted that the venue in front of hundreds of reporters was "neither the place nor the moment" to discuss the issue.

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Picture: Reuters