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French President Jacques Chirac may have an illegitimate son with a Japanese woman, the Independent newspaper reported Tuesday, quoting a French book that was to be published later in the day.

In “Nos delits d’inities” (“Our Insider Trading”), French writer Guy Birenbaum suggests that Chirac had the child in the late 1970s, and that the son lives in Switzerland, the report said. The Independent said rumors about the “love child” in Japan had long been circulating but this is the first time the French mainstream media has broken its customary silence on the sexual activities of politicians.

At the same time, the paper said there are no hard facts to support the existence of the son. The article says Birenbaum has gathered “gossip, circumstantial facts and allegations previously published only on the Internet, or in restricted-circulation information sheets.”

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