IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested For Sexual Assault in New York

Dominique-Strauss-Kahn.jpg
​Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and the expected Socialist Party candidate in France's next presidential elections, was removed from an Air France flight at JFK last night and  arrested "on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the luxury suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel yesterday," according to a police spokesman. He's being detained at the SVU.

Here's a pro tip for powerful dirty old men: when the maid comes in to clean your hotel suite, try not stepping out of the bathroom stark naked and wrestling her into the bedroom. It will backfire.

That's what happened, creepily enough. Around 1 p.m. yesterday, Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked, startling the maid who thought the suite at the Sofitel New York was empty. According to the maid's account, he grabbed her and pulled her onto the bed. She fought him off but then he grabbed her again and pulled her into the bathroom, where he tried to take off her underwear and forced her to perform oral sex, according to the Daily News. She escaped and called 911, but by the time the authorities got there S-K had split. Ew, ew, ew.

Strauss-Kahn was widely thought to not only be the likely Socialist candidate, but the likely winner of the election; in polls, the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is (was?) trailing him. Strauss-Kahn has really blown it. If you understand French, listen in to Le Figaro's political editor explaining some of the consequences of the event; in short, whether or not DSK is actually guilty, this might mean he's finished at both the IMF and in French politics. (N.B. Le Figaro is a center-right paper; for the perspective from the left, check out Le Monde's take: "Even if it's too early to jump to conclusions, it seems certain that Dominique Strauss-Kahn will need a very long time to recover from these few days.")

This will also mean that the French elections are going to be way interesting. The Socialist field is wide open, and now it's not a sure bet that Sarkozy will be out despite his increasing unpopularity. Also, this could benefit the horrid extreme-right Front National party, which is led by a spawn of the terrifying Jean-Marie Le Pen. It's going to be a mess.

UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: DSK's lawyer says he'll plead not guilty.

[NYT, NYDN]

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]


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7 comments
Alan MacDonald
Alan MacDonald

What's the betting that Strauss-Kahn got "Assanged"?

Who would want to remove a potentially global socialist figure from likely prominence in a pivotal up-coming election?

Does the "maid" have any history as a CIA ass(et)?

Alan MacDonaldSanford, MaineLiberty & democracy over violent empire -- 

Shagrir
Shagrir

Alan, I'll take that bet.  Assange did nothing wrong but hurt powerful people in the US Gov't.  No one thinks French politicians are important but the French.  Look at this for what it is:  A powerful white guy taking advantage of a poor lower class worker, who he didn't think would complain, and if she did, would not be believed.  We understand French people but they don't understand us.  Like I said before, he's probably gotten away with this dozens of times, but not here.

Alan MacDonald
Alan MacDonald

Shagrir,

Wasn't there an allegation that Strauss-Kahn was also pulling babies off incubators in his hotel room, and that he had just taken his bath with Yellow Cake that he "secretly" bought from Africa?

Alan MacDonaldSanford, MaineLiberty & democracy over violent empire --

Shagrir
Shagrir

Hi Alan, No I don't recall those allegations.  Where did you see them?  Like Clinton, there was DNA evidence left behind.  We'll soon know the truth.  Conspiracy theories are entertaining, but like everything else, require evidence.

Shagrir
Shagrir

I lived in France for many years and hated it.  You should have said "arrogant, powerful dirty old men".  "Arrogant" and "French" are synonyms.  This guy has probably done this dozens of times before and gotten away with it, feeling some sense of entitlement.  Welcome to New York!  Like you said, "EW".

ACam
ACam

Without speculating about whether DSK is guilty or not, or what the political implications of this awful incident may be for him, it bears mentioning that Le Figaro is an openly right-wing newspaper.

Rosie Gray
Rosie Gray

That's a good point. Will include a little N.B.  

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