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Asia-Pacific

France's first lady Trierweiller heads to India, fires lawyer over affair remarks

media Valerie Trierweiler Reuters/Lionel Bonaventure/Pool/Files

François Hollande's partner, Valérie Trierweiler, is to visit India this weekend in her first public outing since a gossip magazine alleged the French president was having an affair.  Trierweiler has been silent on the status of the relationship and went so far as to fire her lawyer for speaking about it on Thursday.

Trierweiler is going to Mumbai to support French aid group Action Against Hunger, in a two-day visit organised long in advance of the affair allegations.

But if Trierweiler was initially invited as first lady, it's not clear since the story broke what role she is playing today.

She has spent two weeks resting in hospital and in a presidential residence since gossip magazine Closer alleged Hollande was having secret trysts with actress Julie Gayet.

Neither Hollande nor Trierweiler have commented on their relationship since the story was published, although Hollande has promised to clarify its status before visiting the United-States on 11 February.

Trierweiler has been even more guarded about on the situation.

On Thursday her lawyer, Frédérique Giffard, sais that she was aware clarification was needed.

That brought a quick rebuke from Trierweiler, who said the lawyer was speaking without permission and had been dismissed.

Her chief of staff at the presidential palace declared he was the sole person authorised to speak on her behalf, suggesting Trierweiler still considers herself to be first lady.

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