Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife 'disgusted' by film portrayal
Anne Sinclair says Abel Ferrera's new movie inspired by downfall of former IMF chief is anti-semitic 'filth'
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife says she is sickened by the new film inspired by the spectacular downfall of the former IMF chief and accused it of being anti-Semitic by equating Jews with money and power.
Welcome to New York, which premièred on Saturday during the Cannes film festival, stars Gérard Dépardieu as Georges Devereaux in a role inspired by the fate of Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was charged in 2011 with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid. The charges were later dropped.
The second half of the film directed by Abel Ferrara evokes the impact the scandal had on Mr Strauss-Kahn’s relationship with his then wife Anne Sinclair, whose character is called Simone and is played by Jacqueline Bisset.
Simone is depicted as a wealthy woman who inherited a fortune that was amassed during the Second World War and who donates money to Israel.
Sinclair, a celebrity journalist and wealthy heiress, on Sunday criticised Ferrara’s portrayal of Simone as “clearly anti-Semitic”.
Writing in the French version of the Huffington Post, which she edits, she said she was “disgusted with the so-called face-to-face between the two principal characters, upon which the authors and producers of the film project their fantasies about money and Jews”.
“The allusions to my family during the war are completely degrading and defamatory. They say the opposite of what happened,” she said.
She noted that her grandfather, the art dealer Paul Rosenberg, had fled from the Nazis and was stripped of his French nationality by the Vichy government that ruled France during the Nazi occupation.
“My father... fought until the liberation. To say otherwise is slander,” wrote Ms Sinclair.
Abel Ferrara, who was in Cannes along with Mr Dépardieu to première the film outside of the official competition, denied that he was anti-Semitic.
“I hope not. I was brought up by Jewish women,” said the director whose previous films such as Bad Lieutenant often featured self-immolating anti-heroes.
Mr Ferrara also denied defaming Ms Sinclair’s father, saying that he “was not a collaborator”. “He was almost killed by the Gestapo. He was completely the opposite,” he said.
In the film, the fictional couple have lengthy conversations in the real Manhattan house where Strauss-Kahn lived under house arrest after he was granted bail.
Sinclair said she did not play to sue the filmmaker as that would only provide more publicity for the film.
“I do not attack filth. I vomit it,” she wrote.
Neither Mr Strauss-Kahn nor his lawyers have commented on the film.