Looks like a New York City hotel maid’s sex assault allegations against IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn are just the tip of the iceberg.
This much is clear: He’s an avowed socialist. An alleged repeat predator. And, as his political opponents have shown, a confirmed hypocrite living high on the hog.
What else would you expect from a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do transnationalist?
Over the weekend, Strauss-Kahn was yanked from an Air France plane after the maid at the $3,000-per-night luxury Sofitel hotel identified him from a lineup. A re-cap of the charges:
The police have provided few details about the woman at the center of the case beyond saying she was 32 and an African immigrant.
According to the law enforcement official, the woman entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite early Saturday afternoon by saying “housekeeping.” She heard no answer and believed that the suite was unoccupied. She left the door open behind her, as is hotel policy.
She went to the bedroom and a naked man rushed from the bathroom to the bedroom. She apologized, the law enforcement official said, and tried to leave.
But according to the official, the man chased her, grabbed her and shut the door, locking it. He then pulled her toward the bedroom, the official said, and tried to attack her there.
He dragged her to the bathroom, the official added, and forced her to perform oral sex. The police said the woman eventually escaped from the suite and reported the attack to other hotel personnel, who called 911.
The woman lives in the Bronx with a daughter who is in her teens.
Another alleged victim has come forward:
A local official of the Socialist party claimed that Strauss-Kahn had attacked her daughter, who is goddaughter to Strauss-Kahn’s second wife, in 2002.
Tristane Banon was in her 20s and writing a book when she approached Strauss-Kahn for an interview in 2002. In a TV programme in 2007, in which Strauss-Kahn’s name had been bleeped out, Banon allegedly described him as a “rutting chimpanzee” and described how she was forced to fight him off. “It finished badly … very violently … I kicked him,” Banon said. “When we were fighting, I mentioned the word ‘rape’ to make him afraid, but it didn’t have any effect. I managed to get out.”
Banon consulted a lawyer, but did not press charges. “I didn’t want to be known to the end of my days as the girl who had a problem with the politician.”
Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, told journalists on Sunday night she had dissuaded her daughter from legal action because she believed Strauss-Kahn’s behaviour had been out of character and because of close links with his family. “Today I am sorry to have discouraged my daughter from complaining. I bear a heavy responsibility,” she said.
She’s not the only disillusioned socialist.
Before this latest scandal erupted, Strauss-Kahn was embroiled in…“Porschegate:”
In a country that has never forgiven Nicolas Sarkozy’s love of bling, it wasn’t the brightest idea for the French Socialists’ great presidential hope to be photographed climbing into a €100,000 Porsche car.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and long-hailed as the only man who can beat Sarkozy, now looks certain to return to France and run for president in 2012. Secret meetings in Paris in recent days have mobilised his future campaign team. But “Porschegate” has created a headache for the man whose greatest challenge is convincing voters that he is not a haughty champagne socialist.
From Washington, Strauss-Kahn has spent months trying to convey to the French electorate that he is not the voice of globalised fat cats and highly-paid technocrats but a true leftwing intellectual who can save the French social model. Sliding into a sports car outside his €4m (£3.5m) Paris penthouse with his millionaire wife was a faux pas, even if the vehicle was not his, but belonged to an adviser who works for one of France’s richest men.
Sarkozy’s entourage could not hide their glee. So many Porsche jokes flew around the Socialist party that Ségolène Royal, a rival of Strauss-Kahn, ordered her supporters not to crack sports-car gags online.
Things were made worse for Strauss-Kahn, as France on Monday marked 30 years since François Mitterrand’s 1981 election victory. Mitterrand is modern France’s only Socialist president; his sphinx-like public self-restraint went under the slogan La force tranquille (calm strength). Strauss-Kahn was quickly dubbed La Porsche tranquille.
Strauss-Kahn – or DSK as he is known in France – has remained silent over his presidential ambitions owing to the impartiality of his IMF job. But his lieutenants in Paris said over the weekend that he will declare his intentions on 28 June, the start of the Socialists’ race to chose a candidate.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Related from Power Line: Socialism – Not What It Used To Be
Related from The Economist: It makes you want to join the tea party.
Update: No bail for DSK…
A New York judge refused his attorney’s $1 million bail offer and remanded him in custody.
Strauss-Kahn, a frontrunner for the French presidency, will reappear in court on Friday.
He had been due before the state judge on Sunday evening.
But the hearing was delayed to allow for DNA testing and examinations for other evidence including scratches on his body.
The 62-year-old, said to be looking very tired as he sat in the dock, had his irises scanned on entering the court this afternoon.
The court heard US prosecutors say he “engaged in similar conduct” once before and asked the judge to remand him in custody.
The Defence attorney proposed a $1 million bail but it was denied by the judge.