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ripped from the headlines

Another Alleged Sexual Assault Victim Comes Forward Against IMF Chief Dominique Strauss–Kahn

Allegations of prior sexual attacks have come to light today against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, just as he prepares to be arraigned in Manhattan for sexually assaulting a maid in his $3,000-a-night room at the Sofitel in Midtown. Strauss-Kahn, widely regarded as the favored candidate to replace French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has already been picked out of the lineup by his accuser and submitted to a DNA test at the Manhattan Special Victims Unit in East Harlem. Now the 62-year-old diplomat, nicknamed both "The Great Seducer" and "Hot Rabbit," is facing accusations from within his own Socialist party.

Anne Mansouret, a local official, says Strauss-Kahn attacked her daughter, French TV reporter Tristane Banon, when she interviewed him in 2002. Banon, who was then in her twenties and goddaughter to Strauss-Kahn's second wife, was trying to interview the diplomat for a book she was writing. She spoke about the sexual attack on TV in 2007, describing Strauss-Kahn as a "rutting chimpanzee," but his name was bleeped out.

In the TV segment Banon alleges that she was forced to fight him off during the attack:

"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."


After consulting with a lawyer, Banon chose not to press charges because, "I didn't want to be known to the end of my days as the girl who had a problem with the politician." Mansouret said last night that she helped persuade her daughter not to file charges because of their ties to Strauss-Kahn's family and because she believed it was out of character for the political leader. Yesterday Mansouret said, "Today I am sorry to have discouraged my daughter from complaining. I bear a heavy responsibility," she said.

More details have also emerged about the hotel maid whom Strauss-Kahn allegedly chased down a hallway naked, pulled into a bedroom, forced to perform oral sex, and then locked in a bathroom. A co-worker described the woman as a single mother of African descent, saying, "She's well-mannered, quiet. It's crazy. It's horrible. Stuff like this shouldn't happen." Diplomatic immunity applies only during official duties, so Strauss-Kahn faces charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. Since Law & Order is off the air, and The Good Wife already tackled a similar arc during it's "ripped from the headlines" rendition of allegations against Al Gore, it looks like the small-screen version is still up for grabs.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces further claim of sexual assault [Guardian UK]
New Details in IMF Sex Case [WSJ]
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexually assaulting hotel maid, consents to DNA testing [NYDN]
Police Seek Evidence From I.M.F. Chief on Sex Attack [NYT]
Whiny IMF head finally agrees to medical exam; set for arraignment today [NYP]
Earlier: IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested for Sexual Assault in New York

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Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary