Un affaire privée ?

Un personnage public peut-il avoir une vie privée ? Des événements advenus dans trois pays viennent de souligner l’importance de cette question.

Pendant les élections présidentielles françaises, les deux candidats ont tâché de séparer leur vie privée de leur campagne. Ségolène Royal n’est pas mariée avec François Hollande, le père de ses quatre enfants. Lorsqu’on lui a demandé s’ils formaient un couple, Royal a répondu : “Nos vies nous appartiennent.” De même, devant les rumeurs que l’épouse du président élu Nicolas Sarkozy l’avait quitté, un porte-parole de Sarkozy a déclaré : “C’est une affaire de vie privée.”

Les Français ont une longue tradition de respect de la vie privée de leurs politiciens, et l’opinion publique française est plus ouverte d’esprit qu’aux États-Unis, où une mère célibataire de quatre enfants n’aurait aucune chance d’être désignée par un grand parti. Par exemple, le mois dernier, Randall Tobias, patron de l'agence américaine d'aide au développement, a démissionné après avoir reconnu avoir eu recours à un service d’escorte proposant “une fantaisie érotique de luxe”, bien que Tobias ait prétendu n’avoir bénéficié que d’un massage.

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