Dominique Strauss-Kahn Confesses the Errors of His Ways — Sort of

The former favorite for France's presidency tells a French newsweekly he's to blame for the sex scandals that brought him to disgrace--but does a fair bit of rationalization too.

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REUTERS / Mike Segar

International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn departs a New York Police Department precinct in New York late May 15, 2011

At last, he speaks.

Seeking to move beyond the unrelenting sex scandals that have crippled his high-flying political career, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has given an interview to a leading French newsweekly discussing his transformation from one-time presidential favorite to the object international controversy and scorn. But with a signature mix of confession, apology, accusation and self-serving rationalization, his latest statements contain something to titillate, disgust, perplex and offend just about everyone.

Quotes from the interview are woven into the Oct. 12 cover story of French newsmagazine le Point. (snippets of which are available in French here.) In it, the man dubbed DSK by the French press assumes responsibility for his sexual exploits, and says he understands the public reaction to them —though with some equivocation. Though he regrets “shocking [voters] who learned things they never imagined about [my] private life, and those who were disappointed by [my] behavior”, Strauss-Kahn indicated he was nevertheless held to higher standards than other French VIPs who engage in similar nastiness.

“There are many parties organized [for orgies] in Paris, and you’d be surprised at the people you run into there,” DSK said. “What’s perhaps okay for a business leader or an athlete or a performing artist isn’t for a politician. I was too out of phase with French society concerning [expectations of] political leaders. I misjudged.”

(PHOTOS: The Case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn)

More than once. Strauss-Kahn continues battling legal investigations into his alleged involvement in a Lille prostitution ring. He’s managed to surmount recently dropped rape charges stemming from that inquiry, just as he was averting a trial in New York City following his May 2011 arrest for alleged sexual assault. (The charges against him in New York were ultimately dismissed.) And despite the pending litigation and counter-litigation between DSK and the hotel maid who accused him of attacking her, Strauss-Kahn defiantly told le Point that the notorious encounter that launched debate, investigations, and myriad headlines across the planet is in fact a private, even intimate affair.

“The essential thing is that what happened in that room is not a matter falling within the law’s domain. From that point on, the rest is nobody else’s business,” DSK said of the now-dropped charges, before dismissing the civil suit as nothing but a money grab. “In the U.S.A., this type of suit is filed against a rich [defendant]. The plaintiff’s lawyers believed I was rich. I’m not.”

That’s certainly been true since his June separation from his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair. Now Strauss-Kahn is looking to bounce back financially and professionally on his own with a new consulting business. Despite these pursuits, however, Strauss-Kahn made it clear in his interview that the thing he’s most intent on now is ending the 24/7 press scrutiny that–he seems to think–has made him the real victim of the scandals that have come to dominate his public life.

“I no longer have public responsibilities, I’m no longer a candidate for anything…and nothing justifies me being the object of media stalking that, on certain days, has resembled a man hunt,” Strauss-Kahn said. “I can no longer tolerate people taking advantage of my situation and of the legal inquiries I’m subject to—unjustly—in order to ridicule my life…under the pretext of I don’t know what kind of moralizing transparency. I want to be left in peace!”

DSK demanding the media leave him alone in an exclusive, high profile interview with one of France’s leading publications–and one sure to generate lots of public interest? Good luck with that strategy.

LIST: The Strauss-Kahn Sex-Assault Allegations in TIME’s Top 10 of Everything

6 comments
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Caroline Redbrook
Caroline Redbrook

DSK says he'd like to be" left in peace".  That might have been possible if, he in turn had left those many women "in peace" instead of raping and attempting to rape them.

spwright1
spwright1

10/11/12  D S K Could "Make It All Better" amp; make a Multi-Million Dollar Donation to the

HOOKER'S UNION in Switzerland.

HOOKERS UNITE !                             SPW in Alaska "Airborne"

rjpal
rjpal

" his latest statements contain something to titillate, disgust, perplex and offend just about everyone."

But maybe there should be more disgust at the punitive US system.   Even if the charges against DSK were true, the idea of punishing a man with decades of prison time for whatever happened in these 20 minutes is outrageous. 

The US imprisons people at six times the global average.  Maybe THAT fact should "disgust, perplex and offend" just about everyone?

We in the US have come to believe that a Salem witch trial or a lynching are just fine as long as the victim is not black or female. A white man, especially one with money, is the perfect target for our current sensibilities. But injustice is injustice, no matter who the victim is.

I have no problem with rich white men paying higher taxes. But I do not want them to be victimized by our lynch mob mentality.

Caroline Redbrook
Caroline Redbrook

Many things can happen in less than twenty minutes.  It is the severity of the crime, not the time it takes to carry out the crime that counts.  We don't shut an eye to rape or physical mistreatment of women over here.

Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor

You are an awful human being. The majority of prisoners in the US are in for non-violent drug crimes. Can you seriously equate that to rape? The trauma and harm caused by sex crimes lasts far more than "whatever happened in those 20 minutes."

The US imprisons more people, but the US is behind many Western nations in protection for rape victims.

supersenior
supersenior

First I would have to assume you are male, no woman would make such statements.  Second the man is a sex fiend slime, he has been accused of multiple rapes, I very much doubt he is innocent.  People who use thier power to keep from being punished for what an average person would are just plain evil.