Friday 23 March 2018

Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'facing arrest over prostitution racket allegations’

Henry Samuel

DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn’s wife is considering divorce following the latest claims linking him to a call-girl network in Northern France.

But she fears leaving him will send the former International Monetary Fund boss into a nervous breakdown, friends have told the French press.

Anne Sinclair, a former top TV current affairs presenter and multi-millionaire heiress to an art empire, has stuck by her husband since his arrest in New York in May on sexual assault charges.

She spent a fortune funding his legal defence that helped him see charges dropped against Sofitel hotel chambermaid Nafissato Diallo, and stood by him after a French court ruled last month he had sexually harassed a 23-year old French writer in 2003. No charges were pressed due to a three-year statute of limitations.

But Miss Sinclair, 63, is reported to be finally running out of patience with the former International Monetary Fund chief over claims that he was a client of a prostitution network now under criminal investigation.

According to a politician close to the couple, they are “are thinking about (divorce or separation), that’s for sure”.

Le Figaro quoted unnamed “friends” as saying she was fed up with the torrent of “pathetic” disclosures about one-time French presidential favourite, and that she was demanding that he pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars that she spent on his defence in New York.

“She took an enormous whack on the head when she discovered the extent of the lies,” a friend told Le Parisien newspaper. “But she doesn’t want to leave him now as he is a lonely and desperate man.

Le Journal du Dimanche said he had taken to biting his nails until they bled and spent his days doing nothing, recognised he was “ill” and was seeking professional help. Le Parisien quoted a friend as saying: “He is tired by everything going on. You can see it in his way of speaking, dressing, talking, even breathing. He loses weight, gains it then loses it again: nothing is stable,” one friend told Le Parisien.

“There is a link between them that is difficult to define. It is still there despite everything, at least for now,” another was reported as saying.

But that has reportedly been put sorely to the test by the latest scandal, which arose following claims that Mr Strauss-Kahn had been a client of a prostitute network operating out of a luxury hotel in Lille, northern France dubbed the Carlton Affair.

Recorded phone conversations link him with Béatrice Legrain, a former prostitute imprisoned in Belgium and with Dominique Alderweireld, her partner, on charges of pimping. Mounia, another prostitute, told police she had paid sex with Mr Strauss-Kahn in a Paris hotel. “I had sexual relations with DSK. He did not rape me, but you got the feeling that he liked rough sex,” she said under questioning.

The prostitutes were allegedly funded by David Roquet, the head of a subsidiary of Eiffage, a building company. Mr Roquet is among eight leading local figures, including a senior policeman, under investigation in connection with the network. Mr Roquet denies any wrongdoing.

French media have revealed text messages allegedly sent by Mr Strauss-Kahn to Fabrice Paszkowski, a businessman detained on suspicion of organising sex parties in restaurants and swingers clubs in Paris, Washington, Madrid, Vienna and Ghent, Belgium.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has demanded to be questioned by the judges leading the inquiry, hoping to halt what his lawyers brand a “media lynching”, but some warn he could face charges if the case expands to cover alleged graft or influence peddling.

Douglas Wigdor, an American lawyer for Miss Diallo said the Carlton scandal “only reinforces what we already knew” – namely that he “considers women as objects” – and that he was closely following the affair ahead of a potentially multi-million dollar civil lawsuit against Mr Strauss-Kahn.

On Monday, lawyers for Mr Strauss-Kahn and his wife warned they would take legal action to protect their privacy.

“We are already examining what action to take over certain articles which indulge in the lowest form of voyeurism and provide no legitimate information to the public,” lawyers Henri Leclerc and Frederique Beaulieu said in a statement.

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