French men & their mistresses: François Hollande faces affair accusations

It almost seems it's a necessary job qualification that a French leader keeps a mistress. However, François Hollande's alleged affair with an actress has done little to increase his falling popularity. (Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)


The President of France is catching a lot of stones following revelations of an alleged affair with an actress. You might think having an amour is just what the French do--that French society is more accepting of such indiscretions. We talk about whether those perceptions are true or not.

All the world loves a lover, but the French are likely unimpressed with the weird characterization they're persistently, recklessly amorous. They certainly seem unimpressed with their President following allegations of an affair with an actress.

French President François Hollande really lived Le Vie En Rose the night he was elected President of France. Joining him on stage that night and enjoying the cheers was the new first lady, Valérie Trierweiler. They weren't legally married, but -- c'est La France. A year-and-a-half later, he remains a bachelor but perhaps with a new theme song.

François Hollande is dealing with a tabloid-sized sex scandal after published reports suggested he was having an affair with a famous French actress. He has demanded his privacy and brushes aside questions about who exactly is the First Lady of France.

However François Hollande is hardly the first resident of the Elysee Palace to have a not-so-secret life. Sometimes it seems like a job qualification. But it's not as if he's enjoying the approving gaze of voters.

Catherine Field is a journalist based in Paris, France.

Discomfort over the president's trysts suggest there are still things beside cheap wine that offend the French sense of smell. Perhaps not enough care was taken to make a secret life, really secret.

Noel Biderman is the CEO of the Toronto-based Ashley Madison, the online website where married people covertly hook up with other married people. Not too long ago, Ashley Madison opened up for business in France. Biderman now calls himself France's new foreign affairs minister. He joined us in Toronto.

Liberté, Egalité, Adultery. Debra Ollivier knows a lot about love in the Republique. She is an author and a French citizen through marriage. Her latest book is What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind. Debra Ollivier joined us from Los Angeles, California.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Shannon Higgins.

Last Word: Internet of Things on Monday

Monday on The Current, we'll look at the Internet of Things. So many of our devices communicate with each other, some believe we soon won't log onto the internet, we'll just be another node.

Predicting the future is usually more fun than accurate, but we'll hear about a few of the possible paths to tomorrow.

For today's Last Word, futurist Jonathan Strickland of the How Stuff Works blog offers his vision of the coming Internet of Things.

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