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French Writer Accuses Strauss-Kahn of Attempted Rape

French Writer Accuses Strauss-Kahn of Attempted Rape

At this point, it seems unwise to write anything definitive about the rape charges against  former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, because the circumstances surrounding the case are changing so quickly.  Yesterday, it seemed as though new doubts about DSK’s accuser, a housekeeper in a Manhattan hotel, could derail the debate over French sexism that the charges initially sparked.  Now, a French writer named Tristane Banon announced her plans to file a criminal complaint against DSK for attempted rape in 2002.

Banon came forward after the arrest in May, saying that during a 2002 interview, DSK said that he would only talk with her if she held his hand.  Later in the interview, he allegedly wrestled her to the floor and tried to unhook her bra and unbutton her jeans.  Banon’s lawyer, David Koubbi, said that she was dissuaded at the time from filing charges by her mother, Anne Mansouret, who was a politician in DSK’s Socialist party.  He added that DSK’s actions were not sexual assault, but “attempted rape.”

Mansouret says now that she was “revolted” by the reactions of the many men who sprang to DSK’s defense after New York prosecutors raised doubts about his accuser.  And even if the charges in New York are dropped, these new accusations could end the debate about whether DSK could revive his political career.

Even before Banon’s complaint went public, the French Socialist Party said that DSK was unlikely to run for president of France, despite the polls that suggest that he might be a serious contender.  Banon’s allegations are also an important reminder that even if there are doubts about the New York case, DSK seems to have a pattern of sexual harassment, assault and abuse.  Banon was only 22 when DSK attempted to attack her, and to make matters worse, she is the god-daughter of DSK’s second wife.  If DSK was willing to assault a young woman with whom he had so many personal ties, it seems entirely believable that he would do the same for a housekeeper in his hotel – or any number of women who have not come forward.

And while we’re talking about the credibility of DSK’s accuser, let’s just remember that DSK is not the most plausible victim.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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37 comments

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1:09AM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

It always happens, when the attacker is from a high class and the victim becomes a low life, officials or journalists run to cover the story. i'm grateful for the french writer coming along to support the poor victim.
go ahead girl

8:44PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

You go, girl!

2:32AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

She has woken up from her slumber for the incident that alleged to have happened in 2002 what was she waiting for such long time ?

3:55AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

My Dad always said...if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck its probably a duck..

2:56AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

I believe that there is no smoke without fire!

1:06AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

i agree with Lionel and Beth. It is very obvious that this man is so sexually agressive and that he crosses the line (i don't know how far), but he is also a man who had a powerful position and was a major political player. Knowing what I do of politiics in Europe, I am reluctant to take anything at face value.The truth is out there somewhere, but I am certain that we are not going to find out what it is. There are too many lies and too many players involved.

7:41PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

In the US we make this type of man Governor of California.

7:29PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

What amazes me the most is how his wife can stick with him. Surely, she knows of his other adventures with women.

6:15PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

When I read the first accounts of the New York case against DSK. I tended to assume he was guilty, almost shoving aside the principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I'm also all too familiar with the pattern of blaming the victim, as happened in a small town in Texas after a gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. I also believe that whether or not an alleged rape victim has been a sex worker is utterly irrelevant.
What gives me pause is the politics behind the case. Cy Vance, the prosecutor in New York, has been accused (by his friends) of caring more about the publicity he can get from the case than about the issue of guilt or innocence. Meanwhile in France, DSK was seen as a possible (left-wing) challenge to the Sarkozy regime, a viable candidate for the presidency. Some are saying Socialist DSK was set up to protect the conservatives in France from a loss of power.
So we have possible issues not only of vicious sexual politics but of dirty electoral politics at both ends. I find it hard to stake out a clear position on either side until more of the truth is revealed.

5:32PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

When you read the 'reasons' for doubting the New York hotel maid's testimony against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn a sudden smell hits your nostrils. You check your shoes to check there's no dog shit and there is none. Sure enough the smell comes from the strong suspicion that the criminal elite class is about to crush the lowly maid to save their predatory pillar of society. But this French journalist may be the undoing of their evil plans.

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