French president considers suing gossip mag over affair report

Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler on April 19, 2012, in Paris.

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande is threatening legal action over a magazine report saying he is having a secret affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

Hollande, in a statement obtained by The Associated Press, says he "deeply deplores the attacks on respect for privacy, to which each citizen has a right."

It says he is weighing possible action, including via the courts. He did not address the alleged affair.

Rumors have circulated for months of an affair.  

The magazine Closer published images Friday showing a bodyguard and a helmeted man it says is Hollande visiting what Closer says is the actress' apartment. The magazine suggests that Hollande spends evenings at the actress' apartment near the presidential palace.

There are pictures of the two leaving the same Paris apartment building, though not together.

Closer also raises the security issues of a head of state accompanied by a single bodyguard at a secret location.

Hollande has never married. He had four children with politician Segolene Royal, and has been living in recent years with journalist Valerie Trierweiler, considered France's first lady.

The publication of the photos comes just days before Hollande's next press conference (his third), at a time of spectacularly low approval ratings.