The married far-Right firebrand hoping to become President of France is expecting a love child with a personal assistant who is 35 years his junior.
Eric Zemmour, 63, took legal action to try and prevent Closer from publishing details of his secret affair with Sarah Knafo, 28.
But the privacy application was thrown out of court and on Friday the magazine ran with the headline: ‘Eric Zemmour is going to be a daddy in 2022’.
This is when Zemmour, who has criminal convictions for spreading racial hatred, hopes to go head-to-head with Emmanuel Macron for the presidency.
Zemmour, a magazine journalist turned television pundit, has already been convicted twice on similar charges, but is still riding high in opinion polls.
They suggest that he will go head-to-head with Mr Macron if – as he has indicated – he stands for the French presidency in April 2022.
The polls suggest that he would get through the first round of the presidential elections in April, and then get beaten by Mr Macron in the second.
He has already provoked controversy in France by frequently raging against Muslims, black people and anybody else from an immigrant background.
Eric Zemmour, 63, took legal action to try and prevent Closer from publishing details of his secret affair with Sarah Knafo, 28. But the privacy application was thrown out of court and on Friday the magazine ran with the headline: ‘Eric Zemmour is going to be a daddy in 2022’
Zemmour has also been accused of virulent anti-Semitism after denying – against all the historical evidence – that the French collaborated with the Nazis during the wartime Holocaust.
And he said on Monday that fears about the new coronavirus had been overblown and that France’s vaccine passport should be scrapped.
“We need to put this epidemic back in the right proportion. We have played a lot on people’s fears. We have gone too far, and we’ve been going too far since the beginning,” Zemmour told France Info radio.
And his popularity in opinion polls appears to be dragging other presidential hopefuls to the right.
Michel Barnier, the former European Union Brexit negotiator and now a challenger for the French presidency, today said France had lost control of immigration and that a sense of impunity prevailed.
Barnier, who is locked in a five-way race for the centre-right Les Republicains party’s nomination, lamented France’s ‘big decline’ and said President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership style was too arrogant and single-minded to heal divides.
‘Immigration is out of control,’ Barnier, 70, told Reuters before addressing party members in Paris late on Monday. “Our security is no longer guaranteed. There is a sense of impunity and insecurity throughout the country.”
Barnier proposes a moratorium on immigration to fix Europe and France’s broken rules on migration, wants soldiers to patrol some communities where police are seen to have lost control and advocates a referendum on restoring military service.
An erstwhile moderate of the centre-right, Barnier dismissed the suggestion he was being drawn onto far-right turf to win back conservative voters from Zemmour and Marine Le Pen.
“I’m looking at the problem my country faces,” he said.
The race for the centre-right ticket is led by Xavier Bertrand, who heads the northern Hauts-de-France region, and Valerie Pecresse, leader of the Ile de France region around Paris, but Barnier has emerged as a credible challenger.
Both Mr Zemmour and his lover Ms Knafo had complained about ‘an invasion of privacy’ before Closer published the revelation – but Paris judges ruled otherwise.
The pair are extremely high profile, and over the summer were pictured in an intimate clinch as they swam in the sea together.
In a previous issue in October, Closer featured a photo of Mr Zemmour with a picture of his wife, lawyer Mylene Chichportich, whom he married in 1982.
The couple have three grown-up children together, leading to journalists claiming there was public interest in knowing about his relationship with Ms Knafo.
In turn, lawyers for Mr Zemmour quoted European Human Rights legislation to try and get the Closer edition, and its online coverage, banned.
They claimed that claims about the pregnancy ‘do not contribute in any way to any debate of general interest.
Earlier this month, Zemmour went on trial in Paris for calling child migrants ‘thieves, rapists and murderers’.
A verdict in the case for ‘complicity in provoking racial hatred and racial insult’ is expected in the new year.
French far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour (L) and his advisor Sarah Knafo pose during a photo session in Paris on April 22, 2021