New claims of sexual misconduct against ex-IMF chief
Published 22/05/2011 | 05:00
Fresh allegations of sexual misconduct have emerged against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who resigned last week after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York chambermaid.
As Mr Strauss-Kahn spent his first full day on $1m (€700,000) bail at an apartment on Broadway, he faced new claims that:
- He put pressure on a married Asian administrative worker into having sex with him, a former IMF official told the UK newspaper the Sunday Telegraph. The claim was brought to the attention of a serving IMF official by her husband after the women confided details. But she declined to make a complaint because she feared losing her job. She later left the IMF.
- Two other employees of the Sofitel hotel in New York told investigators that Mr Strauss-Kahn had made advances to them during his stay last weekend. Soon after he checked in, he called the desk to ask the receptionist to join him for a drink, according to a US website.
- While Mr Strauss-Kahn was head of the IMF, an official paid 'hush money' to a woman working at another Washington-based international institution to secure her silence over an affair.
- A former IMF official challenged the result of an internal IMF investigation which cleared Mr Strauss-Kahn of sexual harassment and abuse of office over his affair with a married Hungarian economist, Piroska Nagy, in January 2008. Ms Nagy eventually left the IMF for a new post in London. "It was clear that Piroska felt pressured. It was not like her at all. Everyone knew that," said the official. "We all knew what really happened and that the investigation was a whitewash."
Lawyers for the former IMF chief, who denies sexually assaulting the hotel worker, did not respond to a request for comment about the new allegations. Robert Smith, the Washington lawyer who led the IMF's internal inquiry, said it had been properly conducted.
Although there is no suggestion of any new criminal sexual offence, the claims will raise fresh questions about abuse of power and a pattern of behaviour by Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, a French socialist politician who was appointed director of the IMF in 2007 and had hoped to run for the French presidency next year.
There was better news for him from Paris yesterday, however, when Tristane Banon, 31, a journalist and writer who claimed he attacked her sexually when she went to interview him in 2002, decided to delay making a planned legal complaint against him.
Her lawyer, David Koubbi, said she feared her case would be used against Mr Strauss-Kahn during his US trial.
The news came as the former IMF head was adjusting to his new temporary surroundings, where he can be visited by his wife, Anne Sinclair, and his daughter, Camille, a student at university in New York.
Getting out of the Rikers Island prison cell where he was held until Friday evening and defending himself against the charges he faces may cost him up to $3m personally, it emerged yesterday.
As well as paying rent and for the 24-hours-a-day guards required by the Manhattan court as a condition of his bail, for up to eight months before his case comes to trial, he will face seven-figure legal fees and the cost of private investigations to support his defence. In addition to the $1m cash bond which Ms Sinclair has posted as bail, she has given a $5m guarantee against the value of her Georgetown, Washington home that Mr Strauss-Kahn will not try to leave the US.
He has surrendered his passport and is confined to the apartment except for medical visits and one hour a week of religious worship. He is fitted with an electronic ankle tag which will set off an alarm if he leaves the building.