Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF boss and one-time favorite to become the president of France, stands accused of jumping a woman at the Sofitel in New York City, sexually assaulting her as she tried to clean his hotel room. He was pulled off a flight back to France and arrested at JFK Airport and will be arraigned today, having already been forced to hand over a DNA sample and been identified by the woman. But the allegations are opening up a floodgate as the French writer Tristane Banon claims now in a new complaint that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her almost a decade ago.
Banon’s mother was a friend of Strauss-Kahn’s and a political ally, and thus urged her daughter not to report the attack at the time, the Guardian reports. But upon hearing about his new victim, Banon was “literally blown over” and is now pursuing action against the powerful politician.
Banon says that Strauss-Kahn was like a “rutting chimpanzee” during the attack and that she was forced to fight him off. “Today I am sorry to have discouraged my daughter from complaining,” says her mother now. “I bear a heavy responsibility.”
Meanwhile, the defense has already started its campaign; in fact, Strauss-Kahn prepared for a situation exactly like this three weeks ago when he imagined being the victim of a woman’s scam:
“Yes, I like women … so what?” He said he could see himself becoming the victim of a honey trap: “a woman raped in a car park and who’s been promised 500,000 or a million euros to invent such a story …”
A fellow Socialist party figure says the reports are “not credible,” because Strauss-Kahn, nicknamed “the Great Seducer,” would just never do what he’s accused of: “Seduction, yes, but no way would he use constraint or violence.”
That said, here’s an educated guess: expect more women to speak up in the coming days.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 16, 2011