- By Robert ZeligerRobert Zeliger is News Editor of Foreign Policy.
Last we left the French politician, he had been freed from house arrest after the veracity of his accuser’s story came into question; French society contemplated his political future; and a French writer, Tristane Banon, said even if he didn’t assault the New York City maid, he did try to sexually attack her back in 2003 — allegations that are being investigated by French police.
Today, a new twist has emerged. In an interview with a French newspaper, the writer’s mother, a prominent Socialist Party member, said she had sex with the former IMF chief back in 2000, an encounter that was "consensual but clearly brutal." She said it was something she never wanted to repeat.
Anne Mansouret, 65, said Strauss-Kahn acted with the "vulgarity of a soldier." And, he had a dominant instinct when it came to sexual encounters.
Mansouret said she felt she needed to speak out now because an image was forming of Strauss-Kahn as a "seducer, not a rapist."
The story gets a little more twisted when you consider that Mansouret was close friends with the politician’s former wife, who also happens to be godmother to Banon.
Banon has called Strauss-Kahn a "rutting chimpanzee" and "very violent." She told French TV back in 2007 that she had interviewed him several years earlier for a book she was working on. He tried to hold her hand during the discussion and the hand-holding segued into sexual advances. He became violent and the two scuffled on the floor of his apartment. Eventually, she "kicked him several times, he unbuttoned my bra … and tried to unzip my jeans." But she was able to get away.
Strauss-Kahn has called her allegations "imaginary" and has filed a lawsuit against her for slander.
If the Strauss-Kahn affair has taught us anything, it’s that it is ridiculous to rush to judgment. We’ll see where this new case goes. But, the more that comes out about Strauss-Kahn in France, the easier it is to understand why he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to leave the United States.