DSK gives his version of events

Fri, Dec 2, 2011, 00:00

DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN has described his sexual encounter with a New York hotel maid as “consensual but stupid” in his first public account of the incident that cost him his job as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

A new book by journalist Michel Taubmann, Mr Strauss-Kahn’s biographer and confidant, claims he interpreted the maid Nafissatou Diallo’s “seductive” body language as a proposition and denies he acted violently towards her.

“Nothing would have happened if I hadn’t had this consensual but stupid relationship with Nafissatou Diallo,” Mr Strauss-Kahn is quoted as saying in extracts published yesterday. “That day, I opened the door to all the other stories.”

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on sexual assault charges in New York last May cost him his IMF post and ended his hopes of running for French president next year. The criminal case against him collapsed, but Ms Diallo is taking a civil action.

According to the book, Mr Strauss-Kahn admits he had an “uninhibited sex life” but says that was not unusual in political and business circles and that he had done nothing illegal.

In raising the idea that Mr Strauss-Kahn may have been the victim of a set-up, Mr Taubmann’s account is similar to that of Edward Epstein, an American journalist who had a lengthy article published by the New York Review of Booksat the weekend.

Le Mondereported yesterday that the two journalists exchanged their research and that Mr Taubmann did not interview Ms Diallo or her legal team. The maid alleges Mr Strauss-Kahn violently attacked her when she arrived to clean his suite, and her lawyers dismissed the claims in the new book as “complete fantasy”.

The former finance minister returned to France in September and admitted in a television appearance to “moral failings”.

Since his return, he has been plagued by other scandals, including allegations by a French writer that he attempted to rape her during a 2003 interview. A prosecutor has decided not to pursue a formal investigation into that claim.

His name has also appeared in media reports on a judicial investigation into the so-called Carlton affair, which centres on an alleged prostitution ring at a luxury hotel of that name in Lille.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has asked to speak to investigators in the case to try to end the “dangerous and malicious insinuations”.