The alleged adventures of Francois Hollande remind me of the Caillaux affair of 1914, in which Henriette Caillaux, wife of French Finance Minister and former Prime Minister Joseph Caillaux shot Gaston Calmette, editor of Le Figaro, six times in the belief that he was about to publish love letters between her and her husband written at a time when both were married to other people. Calmette promptly expired.
Caillaux was a Radical and Republican who had pursued a comparatively pacific line against Germany during his time as Prime Minister and who was by 1914 embarked on getting a progressive income tax through the French legislature. Calmette was spearheading an all-out monstering of Caillaux for these crimes, using his wife’s letters as leverage until Madam Caillaux made a colander of him.
Ms Gayet shows no sign of doing anything similar to the editor of Closer. But it does look like the revelation, which contrasts with the usual discretion shown to French presidents, seems designed to sabotage Hollande’s latest relaunch.