The other dark chapter of Strauss-Kahn’s life
Even Hollywood couldn’t have made this story up. Overnight, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has gone from IMF master and commander, steering the world through the storm of financial ruin, to “Le Perv” who was dragged by police into a Harlem jail on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.
Now a dramatic twist has been added by a French novelist, who’s threatening to reopen a similar dark chapter from Strauss-Kahn’s history.
Tristane Banon, an attractive 31-year-old writer, said on Monday she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn nine years ago. Speaking through her lawyer, Banon added that she was previously dissuaded from filing a suit by none other than her own mother –a regional Socialist Party official.
“We are considering filing suit. I’m working with her on this,” her lawyer told journalists.
Since news broke of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, there has been widespread suspicion of conspiracy among the French. Before this weekend, opinion polls indicated that Strauss-Kahn was the frontrunner in next year’s presidential election, and that could have made him the target of foul play by almost anyone.
But Banon’s story, and the image of Strauss-Kahn as the sexually-insatiable Big Bad Wolf, is likely to quickly gain traction in France.
In 2007 Banon was a guest on a popular TV show hosted by presenter Thierry Ardisson, in which she described a sexual assault on her by a politician. The man’s name was beeped out of the show. Describing the incident the young novelist said: “When we were fighting, I cried out ‘rape’ to scare him, but that didn’t seem to scare him much.”
“I didn’t want to go through with [a lawsuit]. I didn’t want to forever be known as ‘the girl who had a problem with a politician’,” she said to explain her reluctance to press charges. (Watch video)
The final chapter of the Strauss-Kahn drama has yet to be written, but Banon’s next words will have French readers riveted.