Dominique Strauss-Kahn has laid bare his despair at how his "weak flesh" ruined his political career for a moment of "pleasure" with an hotel maid, in an official biography released yesterday.
The former IMF chief has claimed that the chambermaid, Nafissatou Diallo, initiated their sexual act by looking suggestively at his genitals when he emerged from the shower in a New York hotel on May 14.
The former French presidential frontrunner admits that he bears a "heavy responsibility" for his downfall but insists that the encounter was "consensual but stupid".
Mr Strauss-Kahn's version of events is described in a book published yesterday by Michel Taubmann, a French writer who is friendly with him.
The book repeats several of the allegations -- made last weekend by an American journalist -- that there may have been a conspiracy to destroy Mr Strauss-Kahn.
The French socialist politician discussed his fleeting sexual encounter with Ms Diallo in four interviews with Mr Taubmann. His account was described by the Guinean chambermaid's lawyers yesterday as a "complete fantasy".
Although charges of attempted rape were dropped by New York authorities, Ms Diallo is pursuing a civil action.
Mr Taubmann's book and the investigative journalist's article have been widely dismissed in the French media as part of the legal manoeuvres surrounding the civil case.
Mr Taubmann gives Mr Strauss-Kahn's first published account of the disputed events in his book, 'DSK Affairs: The Second Inquiry'.
"Emerging from the shower as naked as Adam, the director general of the IMF was confronted with Nafissatou Diallo, whom he had never seen before," Mr Taubmann writes.
"He watched her walk down the corridor (of the suite). Nafissatou Diallo turned around. She looked him straight in the eyes. Then she unashamedly looked at his private parts.
"The flesh is weak. Dominique Strauss-Kahn saw this as a proposition. Rarely in his life has he ever refused the possibility of a moment of pleasure. He did not resist the temptation of oral sex."
DSK was arrested later that day after Ms Diallo claimed that he had forced her to perform a sexual act. Inconsistencies in her story persuaded the district attorney to drop charges of attempted rape in August.
At the time of the incident, Mr Strauss-Kahn was the undeclared frontrunner for the French presidential elections.
An article in 'The New York Review of Books' last weekend, by Edward Jay Epstein, pointed to a possible plot to destroy DSK by political forces close to President Sarkozy.
Like Mr Epstein, Mr Taubmann pursues the intriguing question of what happened to a BlackBerry which was "lost" by Mr Strauss-Kahn on May 14. Both men say that Mr Strauss-Kahn had been warned that emails sent from the phone were being read by senior figures in Mr Sarkozy's party.
They say the phone was last used by Mr Strauss-Kahn at 12.13pm on May 14 when he called his daughter, Camille, within a few seconds of his sexual encounter with Ms Diallo.
Mr Taubmann suggests -- without offering any evidence -- that the chambermaid may have stolen the phone after that call. (© Independent News Service)