Remember all the fuss last May over the arrest of the former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexual misconduct and possibly rape in New York? You can be forgiven for not remembering. The case fell apart here and we were made to feel that we should be bowing down and apologizing to the man who would have been France’s next President if we hadn’t been so, well, so unsophisticated.
But the case here set off a small firestorm in France among women who were suddenly emboldened to speak out against a culture of sexual harassment in the French workplace, and to finally admit to encounters with Strauss-Kahn that were not possibly rape, but actual rape, encounters that were covered up to protect his position and his Socialist Party which is usually characterized as “Champagne Socialists.”
Tuesday, Strauss-Kahn’s protective cocoon failed him. The French police are questioning him about his connection to a prostitution ring in the northern French city of Lille, and the organization of sex parties in Paris, Brussels and Washington, D.C. He is currently in custody and will remain there at least until Thursday. Officially, Strauss-Kahn “asked” to speak to the police when his name came up during the investigation into the sex ring.
The formal charges could include use of corporate money to fund these sex parties, because the executives who attended them used their expense accounts to pay for them.
Washington, D.C.? I can’t wait to see where this leads.
Strauss-Kahn, of course, says that all the ladies who attended these “soirees” were “respectable socialites.” Funny, back in the 1950′s those were code words for high priced call girls. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Henri Leclerc, says that his client had no reason to believe that the women at the parties were prostitutes, because “People are not always clothed at these parties. I challenge you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a classy lady in the nude.” Leclerc said that DSK had no reason to believe the “ladies” were prostitutes. Gee, the getting naked part wasn’t a give away? He just assumed that “classy ladies” would participate in an orgy for the hell of it? That’s a strange definition of class.
DSK was scheduled to speak March 27 in Brussels at an economic conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also the chairman of Eurogroup. One has to wonder if the arrangements for a Brussels sex party had already been made.
Two Lille businessmen with ties to Strauss-Kahn and a police commissioner are among the eight people arrested in the case. The construction company Eiffage has fired an executive they suspected was involved in the case. Prostitution is not illegal in France, but using corporate funds for them is. One of DSK’s defenders in the case is a Belgian pimp named Dominique Alderweireld, known in the French media as “Dodo la Samure” ( it doesn’t translate into anything). Dodo told Europe 1 radio that he doesn’t believe Strauss-Kahn paid any attention to who the women were or where they came from. “It wasn’t his problem. All he was interested in was having sex. That’s it.”
Strauss-Kahn as admitted to attending these parties, which he called “libertine soirees” but said he was disgusted by the idea of using pimps and prostitutes. He said, “It’s not my thing. Usually, people at these soirees are not prostitutes. When somebody introduces you to his girlfriend, you don’t ask him if she’s a prostitute.” No, you just screw her when it’s your turn.
If the investigation reaches into Washington, the Huffington Post risks having their reputation smeared by the right wing. They have hired Strauss-Kahn’s wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, as a news editor in the new French HuffPo edition. The right wing will have a field day with this connection. They hate the HuffPo and Arianna Huffington personally. Connecting her with a woman who has defended her husband by saying that everyone who accused him of being a groping, skirt-chasing, raping misogynist a liar, will be red meat to them.