Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has lashed out at the focus on his sexual behaviour in a French court where he is charged with pimping, saying he’s not on trial for “deviant” acts.
The 65-year-old, once seen as a frontrunner for the French presidency, said the idea that his preference for certain practices highlighted in court, such as sodomy, would spur him to seek out prostitutes was “absurd”.
For a second day on Wednesday, the court in the northern city of Lille picked apart sex parties attended by Strauss-Kahn in Paris, Brussels and Washington in a bid to uncover whether he arranged for prostitutes to attend.
While prostitution in itself is legal, encouraging and organising its practice is considered to be procuring and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Strauss-Kahn denies knowing that the women with whom he engaged in “free and friendly” sex parties were prostitutes, saying paying for sex would be too great a risk for a man at the head of the IMF, which was busy “saving the world from an unprecedented” financial crisis.
Wednesday’s proceedings began with an emotional account from Jade, an ex-prostitute, about a night in a Brussels hotel where she said Strauss-Kahn sodomised her without permission, in what she said was a clear sign he knew she was paid to be there.
“If I was a libertine, I would at least have been asked if I wanted to do that,” she said, adding she had not had time to protest.
Strauss-Kahn said he did not realise she objected and was “sorry” she experienced it that way.
The silver-haired economist lost his patience when a lawyer for the prostitutes interrogated him on the act.
“I am starting to get fed up,” he said, adding people were free to disagree with his proclivities, but that he was not on trial for “deviant sexual practices”.
Known in France as DSK, Strauss-Kahn finds himself back in the dock four years after his high-flying career and presidential prospects were torpedoed when he was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid, a case later settled in a civil suit.