Dominique Strauss-Kahn had barely been given his uniquely American Miranda rightsbefore the conspiracy theories already started to swirl.
In John-Grisham-meets-Ian-Fleming-type tones, the international press and the blogosphere quickly jumped to life with theories about how and whether the International Monetary Fund chief had been set up for a fall.
After all, the reasons to take down Strauss-Kahn, or DSK, as the world news-watching community quickly came to know him, were abundantly clear. The Socialist candidate was the primary challenger to weakened French President Nikolas Sarkozy—and in fact was expected to win the election rather easily.
Throw in a reputation for notorious womanizing, and it added up both to a plausible story that he could have sexually assaulted a maid in the New York hotel where he was staying, and a yarn in which his political enemies were lying in wait with a plan to destroy him.
“I am convinced it is an international conspiracy,” Michelle Sabban, a Strauss-Kahn supporter and senior councilor for the greater Paris region, told The (UK) Telegraph. “It’s not like him. Everyone knows that his weakness is seduction, women. That’s how they got him.”
One of the more popular sources of blog-based conspiracy fuel came from an interview he gave to the French paper Liberation on April 28 in which he predicted his enemies would use his proclivity for promiscuity against him.
In the piece, cited by Business Insiderand elsewhere, Strauss-Kahn proclaimed his three weaknesses to be, “The money, women and my Jewishness.”
Elsewhere, the scandal, despite its international flavor, was seen as purely American.
“The modern American society is sick,” huffed The Voice of Russia blog. “And the diagnosis is – political correctness. So, a personal scheme against a rich foreigner is quite a plausible explanation of what happened with Strauss-Kahn.”
There’s even a little Hollywood glitz thrown in for good measure—the accused has hired Benjamin Brafman to head his defense team, a lawyer known for representing Michael Jackson and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.
The alibi—which for Strauss-Kahn’s sake hopefully will work out better than in the Jackson and Combs cases—is that he had left the hotel before the assault even took place.
But proving a conspiracy will not be so easy, especially considering early indications of more women coming forward to implicate the IMF official.
“It is totally hallucinatory. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life,” Dominique Paille, whom The Telegraph identified as a center-right political enemy of Strauss-Kahn, told BFM television. “I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot imagine to believe this affair.”
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