French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron denied he is gay yesterday as France’s presidential election combats its own spate of “fake news” attacks.
Said Macron to supporters:
“Those who want to spread the idea that I am a fake, that I have hidden lives or something else, first of all, it’s unpleasant for Brigitte (his wife). She shares my whole life from morning till night and she wonders on a basic level how I could physically do anything! …If over dinners in the city, if on forwarded emails, you’re told that I have a double life with Mathieu Gallet or anyone else, it’s my hologram that suddenly escaped, but it can’t be me! I don’t have a double life and I’m attached more than anything else to my family and married life.”
As Macron has unexpectedly surged in the polls in the wake of the Fillon scandal, Russia’s state media have begun to eviscerate the former finance minister, employing a grab-bag of media reports, rumor and innuendo that could keep a fact-checker busy for days.
“Macron is married to his French teacher from school who is 24 years his senior,” the report on Kiselyov’s show said. “But there are still rumors about his nontraditional [sexual] orientation and how he took 120,000 euro from the budget to finance his movement and election campaign. He has also been connected with Hillary Clinton. So far it has not turned into a large scandal.”
None of these latter claims has any substantiation.
The couple have regularly featured in France’s celebrity and lifestyle magazines since the telegenic Mr Macron, 39, resigned as economy minister from the Socialist government last summer to launch his bid for the presidency.
Mr Macron has previously dismissed claims he is gay, but his latest comments may have been sparked by a report in the Russian government controlled news site Sputnik in which a French MP from Mr Fillon’s Les Républicains party said he was backed [by] a “gay lobby”.
Mr Fillon, who until the financial scandal broke two weeks ago was the leading presidential candidate, was on Tuesday seeking to get his campaign back on track after publicly denying the accusations and saying he was the victim of a smear campaign.