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Hollande's 'mistress' nominated for French film award

Julie Gayet
Julie Gayet Wikimedia commons/Georges Biard

Julie Gayet, the actress reported to have had an affair with French President François Hollande, was nominated Friday for the French equivalent of an Oscar for playing a suspenders-wearing seductress in a humorous look at the French foreign ministry.

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Gayet came to the world's attention when the magazine Closer published photos allegedly showing a motorcycle-helmet-clad Hollande arriving at an apartment just yards from his official residence, the Elysée Palace, for secret trysts.

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But it is as a supporting actress in Bertrand Tavernier's Quai d'Orsay, a comedy about life at the French foreign ministry, that she has been nominated for a César, the most prestigious prize in Gallic cinema.

In the film Gayet plays the role of a manipulative adviser to the minister who uses her seductive powers to get what she wants.

In one scene the film's principal character walks into her office to find her in stockings and suspenders, apparently in the process of putting her clothes back on following a spot of horizontal diplomacy.

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Gayet, a divorced mother of two who is an active member of Hollande's Socialist Party, has appeared in more than 70 films without achieving international star status.

As well as appearing at the Césars award ceremony next month, she is likely to tread the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival having provided the French voice-over for Nicole Kidman's Grace Kelly in the biopic Grace of Monaco.

On a visit to the UK on Friday Hollande refused to answer a British journalist who asked if he was "still having an affair" with Gayet.

he may face similar questions when he visits the US in mid-February.

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