TODAY   |  January 13, 2014

France’s ‘first lady’ hospitalized; president's affair alleged

Valerie Trierweiler, live-in girlfriend of Francois Hollande, president of France, has been hospitalized in the wake of press reports that Hollande is having an affair with an actress. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> we are back now at 7:41 with an alleged love affair involving the president of france getting worldwide attention. nbc's michelle kosinski is in paris with this story. good morning to you.

>> reporter: hi, matt. not only are there photos supposedly showing the president in a sort of disguise visiting his alleged mistress. now the french first lady is in the hospital over all of this since friday. one more instance here where you think, can you imagine the fallout if something like this happened in the u.s.?

>> reporter: very french, but most high profile scandal erupted friday. the headline the president's secret love . tabloid photos allegedly showing holland arriving at a french apartment late at night on a motorcycle with his personal body guard wearing a helmet, then leaving in the morning, again, helmet on. the magazine claims this happened several times and that arriving and leaving around the same time was a popular 41-year-old actress. 18 years younger than the lately unpopular leader of her country.

>> it looks a bit silly because he couldn't handle the affair.

>> more important issues in france than this, many french say. but the same day the photos came out, france 's first lady valerie traiweiler was admitted to the hospital saying she had a severe case of the blues.

>> this story is a political soap opera . this is a question of security. should the president be riding around on a motorcycle in the middle of the night ?

>> holland has threatened to sue the magazine saying he deplores the attacks on respect for privacy to which each citizen has a right. but so far, he doesn't deny anything. he will face the cameras tomorrow, what was supposed to be a big press conference about fixing major problems like unemployment in france . now sure to include some question about who exactly is the current french first lady friend. holland and presumably valerie trailweiler is expected to visit next monthment and if he does appear with her, if that will possibly be worse for his image. meanwhile, the french who like to say they don't care about trivial personal matters are calling this cataclysmic.

>> michelle, thank you very much.