Dominique Strauss-Kahn has broken his silence to admit he had been “naïve” to think he could get away with attending orgies, but added: “You’d be surprised who turned up to them”.
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By Henry Samuel, Paris
3:22PM BST 10 Oct 2012
In his first interview since September last year upon his return to France after being cleared of rape charges, the disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief complained of being subjected to a “man hunt” in the name of “moralising transparency” and asked the French to “leave me be”.
The former French presidential hopeful is currently under investigation for “aggravated pimping” in the so-called Carlton affair, a probe into the organisation of sex parties involving prostitutes in France, Belgium and the US.
Mr Strauss-Kahn and four other men are accused of knowing fraudulently obtained money was being paid to the vice girls by a prostitution racket based in Lille, northern France.
In the interview with Le Point magazine, he said: “I long thought I could lead my private life as I saw fit, without any impact on the exercise of my responsibilities, including libertarian behaviour among consenting adults.
“There are many soirées in Paris organised for that and you’d be surprised at the people you’d meet at them,” he said, offering no names.
“I was naïve for want of a better word. What’s ok for a company boss, a sportsman or an artist is not for a politician. I was too out of step with French society on this point for a politician. I got it wrong.”
He re-iterated his denial of any knowledge that the women at the orgies were prostitutes.
Mr Strauss-Kahn has been mired in sexual abuse allegations since he was arrested on charges of sexual assault on a hotel maid in New York in May 2011.
The criminal case collapsed because of doubts about the alleged victim’s testimony but he still faces a civil case.
Yesterday, he said he had done nothing wrong “in the eyes of the law” but that he was “the first to be frustrated” at not being able to tell “my truth” about what happened with hotel maid Nafissato Diallo.
He slammed the civil lawsuit, saying: “In the US, you only launch this kind of suit against someone who’s very rich. The plaintiff’s lawyers thought I was. I’m not.” Besides his consulting activities, the economist said he wanted to get involved in “big international projects” that would “change people’s lives” but admitted: “For now, I’m still hindered by my (legal) situation.”