- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2014

Members of the French press, visiting the United States to cover President Francois Hollande’s meet-up with President Obama, have created a buzz in overseas and domestic news outlets with a story started by one of their own but already shot down as false — that Mr. Obama is having an affair.

French photographer Pascal Rostain said on French radio on Monday morning that pop star Beyonce and Mr. Obama are having an affair, and that The Washington Post is due to break the story on Tuesday, Politico reported. The rumors are completely unfounded — and The Post said through a spokesperson that no such story exists.

But the fact that the allegation is heating up the French wires is interesting in itself, given Mr. Hollande himself was recently tainted by revelations of an affair with an actress, Julie Gaynet, 41.

Mr. Hollande’s long-time, live-in girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, 48, ended her partnership with him over claims of the affair. Mr. Hollande, meanwhile, threatened to sue the magazine, Closer, that exposed his secret — but he never denied its truthfulness.

Mr. Rostain’s exact words on French radio: “You know, at this moment, in the United States, something very big is happening.” He then went on to tell of the big news that would break in The Post, making sure to emphasize that the newspaper was not the “gutter press” and could therefore be trusted, Politico reported.

Politico also reported that Mr. Rostain has a history of making dramatic sweeping announcements that don’t pan as true.