"There was a fuss last year when a young French author, Tristane Banon, described her encounter with him. She explained that she had interviewed him for a book about public figures and their missteps, and claimed she had to fight him off physically. She said she hadn't made a complaint at the time, because she didn't want to be "the girl who had a problem with a politician".This side of DSK's life has almost become folklore in France. In 2009, humourist Stéphane Guillon even dedicated his comedy slot on the popular morning radio show La Matinale de France Inter (the French equivalent for Radio 4) to this particular side of the politician:
"Exceptional measures have been taken at Radio France in order not to awaken the Beast. Here are the measures, as detailed by the trade unions. I quote: 'In order to guarantee the safety of the personnel, female workers are asked to wear long, unrevealing and anti-sex clothes. High heels, leather pants and chic lingerie are banned. The head of information, who will greet DSK, will wear a burqa. Dark corners like the toilets, car park, some cupboards, have been momentarily closed off." He added: "But no panic. We have put bromide in his coffee ... and we have two cameras, the usual one on the table and a second under it.'."
Will DSK's reputation matter in the election? Do we, female voters, care about male politicians' sex lives? We all heard the stories in the news, and it is true that he might not be really popular among feminists. But the answer is no. As old-fashioned as it might seem, French voters tend to judge politicians according to their projects...We will have to keep an eye on him. But not in his bedroom."
Or, as another Guardianista put it a while ago, "Womaniser? He's just French".
Well, either the author has very bad timing, or ("puts on tinfoil hat") someone in Chateau Sarkozy has very good timing.
He was taken off an Air France flight by officers from the Port Authority of New York and turned over to Manhattan police, according to a spokesman from the agency. Plainclothes officers boarded the flight at 4.45pm, moments before take-off, and took the 62-year-old out of the first-class cabin and into custody. He had been due to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday. "It was 10 minutes before its scheduled departure," said John Kelly, a Port Authority spokesman.
Port Authority officers were acting on information from the New York Police Department, whose detectives had been investigating a brutal alleged attack on a woman employee at the Sofitel New York on West 44th Street in the heart of the city's theatre district. The 32-year-old woman told police that she entered Strauss-Kahn's room at about 1pm on Saturday and he emerged from the bedroom naked, threw her down and tried to sexually assault her (a/c/t this story he's alleged to have done more than try - not to mention this story - LT), NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. She broke free and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened who called the police. When New York City police detectives arrived moments later, Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," Browne added.
In the UK an extremely wealthy economist and lobbyist with a reputation as a sexual harasser wouldn't necessarily be top of the list when choosing a Labour leader (Labour leaders are supposed to lay the groundwork during office for self-enrichment after office) - but they do things differently in France, where Socialist leaders are quite happy to use the Security Services and tax authorities as private enforcers of their personal interests.
"Among other verifiable events, Hallier's telephone conversations were continually eavesdropped on by the Elysée palace from 1985 onward. He and any potential publisher were hounded by tax inspectors dispatched to instill the fear of "God" (Mitterrand's nickname) into them, his apartment burned, etc."