DSK 'Seducer' Not Rapist: Biographer
Staff Writer, CNBC.com
The official biographer of Dominique Strauss-Kahn believes he is a "French lover" rather than a rapist.
"This man is a seducer, he's a typical French lover, but he's not able to rape a woman," Michel Taubmann, author of The True Story of Dominique Strauss Kahn, told CNBC Wednesday.
"I have spoken to more than 60 people who knew him: political friends; political enemies; his first wife; his actual wife and a lot of women who knew him," the French journalist said.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York's Sofitel hotel almost two months ago.
The prosecution case against him on charges of sexual assault now looks shaky, after the credibility of the alleged victim was called into question, and he was released bail-free on Friday.
"I think he has received this like a very strong man who has a lot of self-control," Taubmann said. "On Saturday he was the powerful head of the IMF and on Monday he was in Rikers Island."
The hotel maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault sued the New York Post and five of its journalists for libel on Tuesday for reporting that she was a prostitute.
Tristane Banon, a 32-year-old French writer and friend of Strauss-Kahn's daughter Camille, has said that she plans to file attempted rape charges against him in Paris, based on an incident from eight years ago.
Her mother, a friend of DSK's wife, has also come forward to say that she knew about the incident and discouraged her daughter from reporting it.
Both women's accounts may be questioned because of the length of time between when the incident allegedly occurred when it became public, Taubmann said.
"French people are very surprised that this complaint has happened today," he added.
The release of Strauss-Kahn, once tipped as a potential candidate for the French Presidency, immediately sparked questions about whether he can reignite his political career, after being replaced by former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as head of the IMF.
While high-profile French politicians such as Francois Mitterand had colorful private lives, they were not so openly discussed in the media.
"It depends on him and whether he wants to come back to politics," said Taubmann. "That was a terrible situation and he now has to recuperate."