Bon vivant and sometime-politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn was questioned today in Lille over an alleged prostitution ring. The possible-brothel scandal — which the French press more colorfully calls "The Carlton Affair" — has been following Strauss-Kahn since last November, and a month ago, he was officially questioned by police. Back then, his lawyer offered a rousing defense:
He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you're not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.
Strauss-Kahn himself claims to have "a horror of prostitutes and pimping," though admits a penchant for an orgy or two. But what investigators are really trying to untangle may have less to do with the former statesman's you-know-what than it has to do with his pocketbook. Though hiring a prostitute is legal in France, profiting from prostitution is against the law. Since corporate funds may have been used to pay the prostitutes, Strauss-Kahn may be implicated in the fiduciary structure of the brothel, which was run out of several hotels in France and Washington D.C.
According to CNN, the judge involved in this round of questioning made the surprise decision to move the date up to Monday, but would not say why. Strauss-Kahn has not been charged with any crime in connection with the affair.