On a French TV chat show, a young female writer Tristane Banon dropped a bombshell – she said that the French Finance Minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn had tried to rape her . It was 2002 and she was 22 years old. When the show went to air his name was bleeped out, so the producers obviously decided to cover it up. Had someone followed up her accusation, he would never have become the head of the International Monetary Fund, the post he took up a few months later.
Banon said she asked for an interview with him and was surprised when he suggested they rendezvous at a different address. He led her into an apartment that was empty except for a TV, video player and a bed. He wanted to hold her hand - he said he would struggle to speak otherwise - but then he grabbed her arm and tried to touch her breasts and she demanded that he stop. But he wouldn't and they ended up fighting on the floor. She was kicking him and screaming but he still managed to unfasten her bra and tried to force her jeans down. In desperation, she screamed the word “rape” in his face, hoping it was slow him down but he took no notice. She escaped by the skin of her teeth and likened his antics to a “rutting chimpanzee”.
She saw a lawyer who already had a large dossier on Strauss-Kahn but decided it would tarnish her reputation if she went ahead with the case, so she dropped it. The French newspapers protected him by not publishing the story and there was only one scandal magazine Entrevue who ran with it. All the media were quite happy to keep this powerful man free to pursue his assault on unsuspecting women.
His first marriage produced three children and in the mid eighties he married Brigitte Guillemette and their daughter Camille is now a New York phD student. In 1996 he met and married American expat Anne Sinclair, France’s most famous political talk-show host. She gave up her career to support her ambitious husband and chose to ignore a personal warning from Sarkozy that his crude chauvinism would not be tolerated in America. And Mr Sarkozy, also a serial adulterer, was right. Yesterday, the discerning wealthy residents of the Britol Plaza in Manhattan said that he and his family were not welcome and they had to find alternative accommodation.
The maid, a 32 year old West African immigrant said he chased her down a hallway, forced her to perform oral sex and tried to remove her stockings. Looking for his DNA, police cut a piece of carpet from the hotel room where the maid said she spat. The new seven count indictment states that he committed two counts of a criminal sexual act, one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.