The newly-elected President of France claimed that misogyny and homophobia were to blame for assumptions that he could not be in love with his wife who is 24 years his senior.
Speaking to Le Parisien newspaper, Emmanuel Macron addressed speculations about his sexuality and what he described as “parallel lives” people had attached to him.
Mr Macron said that if his wife was younger than him, nobody would question the validity of their relationship.
“If I had been 20 years older than my wife, nobody would have thought for a single second that I couldn’t be [an intimate partner],” he said.
“It’s because she is 20 years older than me that lots of people say, ‘This [relationship] can’t be tenable, it can’t be possible.”
Reports concerning his relationship, he claimed, were due to “misogyny” and people ascribing to “traditional, homogenous” views about society.
Mr Macron first met his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, when he was a 15-year-old drama student. They developed a closer relationship when they worked together to re-write a play.
The couple married in 2007, when he was almost 30 and she was 54. During the presidential campaign, Ms Macron has been a constant figure by his side.
A new biography of the politician revealed that the teenager’s parents were shocked when they discovered he had started an affair with his married school teacher.
Mr Macron, who beat Front National candidate Marine Le Pen at the weekend with 66.1 per cent of the vote, also addressed rumours that he was gay.
He claimed there was “rampant homophobia” as people would accuse him of being a homosexual as if it was a “stain” or a “hidden disease”.
Mr Macron said that people who peddled or accepted such rumours had “lost their sense of reality” and had a “big problem with homosexuality”.
“There is a big problem with the presentation of society and [how they see] the place of women,” he added.
The President said such rumours about him were also “destabilising” for those who were closest to him and he was “sad” that politics was not more “civilised”.
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