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Hollande makes first visit to see Trierweiler in hospital

French President Francois Hollande paid a first visit on Thursday to his partner Valerie Trierweiler since she was hospitalised after reports he has a mistress, a source in his office said.

The source declined to give further details about the visit, which came amid questions over whether the 48-year-old Ms Trierweiler will still enjoy the unofficial title of France's first lady and accompany Hollande on state visits.

Opponents of Mr Hollande, whose failure to rebuild the French economy has already made him the most unpopular leader of modern-day France, have accused him of bringing the role of president into disrepute.

The 59-year-old Socialist has neither confirmed nor denied the magazine reports of an affair with film actress Julie Gayet, saying only that he had experienced "difficulties" in his personal life and that he would clarify his relationship with Ms Trierweiler before a February trip to Washington.

Ms Trierweiler was initially due to have left Paris' Pitie Salpetriere hospital last weekend. Local media have quoted acquaintances of the former journalist saying she needs "peace and quiet" to recover from the shock of an episode that has made world headlines.

Ms Gayet, 41, issued a statement late on Thursday to deny media reports she was pregnant. She is seeking damages from celebrity magazine Closer, which published what it said were images of Mr Hollande visiting her apartment in Paris.

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