French president's alleged lover sues tabloid

FILE - In this Jan.7, 2012 file photo, French actress Julie Gayet poses at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, in Palm Springs, Calif. French President Francois Hollande is threatening legal action over magazine report saying on Friday Jan.10, 2014 that he is having a secret affair with the French actress. Rumors have long circulated that Hollande might have a lover. The magazine Closer published images Friday showing his bodyguard and a helmeted man it says is Hollande visiting what it says is the apartment of the actress. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Chris Pizzello, AP

PARIS -- A French actress suspected of having an affair with President Francois Hollande has filed a lawsuit against a gossip magazine for alleged invasion of privacy over its report.

A representative of Closer magazine says the publication received legal documents Thursday from Julie Gayet and her lawyers. The lawsuit seeks $74,000 in damages and other fees, plus the publication of a summary of any judicial ruling in the case on its front page.

The representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter, declined to comment further.

Hollande has said his "indignation is total" about the report, but stopped short of saying whether he'd sue.

At his ritual New Year's news conference this week, which drew an overflow crowd, the first question Hollande faced was about the alleged affair – which he didn't deny. 

"Everyone can face trials in their personal life," he said. "These are painful moments. But personal affairs should be treated privately." 

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.

Hollande did promise that the status of Trierweiler -- who has often been at state functions with him -- would be resolved before a trip to Washington next month.