Home POLITICS French Presidential hopeful Éric Zemmour to sue Closer magazine over Sarah Knafo pregnancy report

French Presidential hopeful Éric Zemmour to sue Closer magazine over Sarah Knafo pregnancy report

by asma
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Éric Zemmour, the hard-right pundit who has broken into the French presidential race, was facing scandal yesterday with a report that his campaign director, who is 35 years his junior, is expecting his child, it is being widely reported.

Sarah Knafo

The French language version of Closer, a celebrity magazine, put Zemmour, 63, and Sarah Knafo, 28, on its cover, with the headline “He is going to be a daddy in 2022”, with the story saying: “The happy event is expected in May 2022, just after the second round of the presidential election.”

Eric Zemmour is reportedly suing the magazine over the story. Zemmour’s lawyers, however, on Thursday reportedly tried and failed to prevent the issue of Closer from publishing the next day, according to weekly magazine Le Point, saying it was infringing on his and his advisor’s private life.

“Whatever happens, always and everywhere, I will strongly, fiercely defend the privacy of myself and people close to me,” Zemmour tweeted on Friday morning. “Yes to public life. No to voyeurism. Sorry for perverts.”

Knafo, a senior civil servant who has shaped Zemmour’s bid for the Élysée Palace, was introduced to the public in September when Paris Match published a cover picture of her locked in an embrace with her long-married mentor on a Mediterranean beach.

Zemmour’s lawyers said he would “hit Closer through its wallet” with a suit for breach of privacy.

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The magazine has made its name with such scoops, among them the revelation in 2014 that François Hollande, then the president, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet. Like other French magazines it often pays fines for breaching privacy laws, calculating that the boost in sales makes them worth it.

Benjamin Dargent, Closer’s editor, said it had confirmed with Zemmour’s entourage the truth of reports about the condition of Knafo.

The matter was of public interest “because he is well placed in the race . . he campaigns on family values and appeals to conservative supporters. They may be interested to know there is a gap between the . . . values he preaches and the man he is”, Dargent said.

Zemmour has three adult children with his wife, Mylène Chichportich, 62, a corporate lawyer. His campaign for strict, old-fashioned moral values appeals to older, traditionalist Catholic voters. He opposes gay marriage and believes that women are the natural subordinates of men.

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