Saturday 24 March 2018

Strauss-Kahn to spend house arrest in lavish $14m property

Jon Swaine in New York

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, will spend his house arrest in a lavish $13.9m (€9.8m) New York town house, while awaiting trial for an alleged sex attack on a chambermaid.

After being rejected by landlords across Manhattan, the French economist has finally been accepted by the owners of a property on the cobble-lined Franklin Street in Tribeca.

Mr Strauss-Kahn is on bail pending trial for the alleged assault of the 32-year-old maid in his suite at the Sofitel hotel on May 14.

He will live under 24-hour armed guard and video surveillance in the four-bedroom property, which features a bar, gym and spa. His wife, Anne Sinclair, will pay the $50,000 (€34,800)-a-month rent.

Ms Sinclair (62), the heiress to an art dealership fortune, will also pay $200,000 (€139,000) a month for her husband's security, having already paid his $1m bail and put up a $5m (€3.5m) bond.

The couple's new neighbours protested about the intrusion last night.

"Our street is now covered with cops and cameras," said Kate Drury (21), a student who lives next door. "Several people have told me they are unhappy, especially those with young children."

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who told lawyers he was "very bored" in his previous temporary flat, will now be able to watch films in a home cinema with leather armchairs.

He will be confined to the property by an electronic ankle tag, but he will be able to enjoy fresh air, sunlight and stunning views from a walled roof garden surrounded by "Japanese paper glass" screens.

Mr Strauss-Kahn may only leave the house for legal or medical appointments or for weekly worship. He must notify court officials six hours before he plans to go out and be accompanied by guards.

While inside the house he will see "only the finest materials and craftsmanship", according to the Lavish Property estate agents.

The 6,800sq ft house was recently viewed by actress Cameron Diaz. Mr Strauss-Kahn's neighbours will include Robert De Niro and Jay-Z, the rapper and entertainment tycoon.

The 1915 house, which also features "limestone radiant heat floors", fine Italian baths and "rainfall steam showers", was redesigned by architect Leopoldo Rosati.

Mr Rosati said: "I'm sure he will love the place".

After enduring turkey burgers at Rikers Island prison last week, Mr Strauss-Kahn had steaks and salads, at a cost of $250 (€170), delivered from the Landmarc restaurant on his first night in his new home.

His daughter, Camille (26) put the bill on her credit card and Ramon Leal, the deliveryman, was given a $20 tip.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has been indicted with seven criminal counts including attempted rape and criminal sexual acts, which carry prison sentences of up to 25 years.

He denies the charges and is due in court on June 6. Yesterday, his lawyers said they had information that could "gravely undermine the credibility" of the hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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