Published on January 29, 2014 | by Laure Fourquet

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Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, Mr President?

BA Journalism 3rd year student Laure Forquet

Laure says the French aren’t that bothered by Hollande’s scandal [Seren Jenkins]

2014 has started with a bang. My president, the French President, has cheated. Cue earthquake, tsunami and apocalypse in the media world.

From the BBC to The Guardian, and let’s not forget the glorious Daily Mail, over the past two weeks, this news has been all over the place. The tabloid media’s hunger for French sex scandals has finally been satisfied.

Because, seriously, what could possibly be more newsworthy than the conjugal affair of the most unpopular modern French President? Civil wars, famine or Angela Merkel’s fractured pelvis just can’t compete with latest development of François Hollande’s ménage à trois.

And yes folks, as you may have noticed, almost all of our beloved presidents lead a double life. Jacques Chirac had a whole host of women, earning him the nickname “trois minutes douche comprise,” which literally translates as ‘three minutes including a shower.’

Félix Fauré died in bed with his half-naked mistress and François Mitterrand fathered a daughter from his illicit union, who was protected (at the public’s expense) and kept from public view until after his death.

Not forgetting Mr Giscard d’Estaing’s legendary love of women, or Nicolas Sarkozy’s divorce followed by his remarriage to an ex-model within months of his election.

Rumours

François Hollande joins a tradition of French Fifth Republic presidents who have had affairs. Luckily for that unfaithful bunch, France’s privacy laws, which the press corporation generally agree with, combined with a generalised reverence for the office of the presidency, have meant that rumours have always largely remained rumours. Until now.

A wise word to the ladies who want to avoid landing themselves in Hillary Clinton’s shoes: never get married to a French politician. You have been warned.

While Bill Clinton was being impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair, we merely wonder how our rather unpopular, and, let’s face it, not-so attractive President could have interested Julie Gayet, a beautiful and young French film actress who is nearly 20 years his junior. This Clinton-Hollande parallel confirms one thing: that while conservative American voters are obsessed with their leaders’ sex lives, we French just aren’t bothered.

So please: it has been two weeks. The first lady has packed her bags to India, Mr Hollande’s popularity polls are still in the abyss, and the breach in the life of the French President seems to be a bit over-rated.

Now I am hoping to read, hear or watch something a bit more interesting in the news tomorrow.

And finally, a wise word to the ladies who want to avoid landing themselves in Hillary Clinton’s shoes: never get married to a French politician. You have been warned.

 

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