French President Francois Hollande has threatened to sue a magazine that revealed an alleged secret relationship between him and the actress Julie Gayet.

Speaking in his personal capacity Mr. Hollande said he “deplored” the violation of the privacy, which is “the right of every citizen”. He said he was contemplating his next steps, “including legal action.”

Closer magazine on Thursday announced the publication of a seven-page special with photographs of the President’s alleged relationship under the title “The President’s secret love.”

“During the New Year, the head of state wearing a helmet and riding a scooter visited the actress in her hideaway where he has taken to spending his nights,” the magazine said. The astonishing pictures of the President, the magazine wrote, raise the question of Presidential security.

The President went alone on his scooter followed by just one body guard who kept the presidential secret and obliged the couple by bringing them fresh croissants every morning, the magazine alleges.

The President is officially in a relationship with journalist Valerie Trierweiler, a woman not particularly popular with the media or the public. Previously he was in a very long relationship with Segolene Royal, who made a vain bid for the French presidency in 2007. Mr. Hollande and Ms Royal have four children.

Julie Gayet, his reported new love, had already lodged a complaint last March after rumours appeared on the Internet about her relationship with Mr. Hollande. In the past she has called him “remarkable, humble and someone who really listens”. The actress participated in one of Mr. Hollande’s campaign video clips.

The French public is generally extremely tolerant of the extra marital relationships of their leaders. President Francois Mitterrand had an entire second family with a hidden daughter who was revealed to the public after he left power. Nicolas Sarkozy became the only President to have divorced and re-married while at the Elysee Palace.

More In: World | International | News