International Monetary Fund (IMF) head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested Saturday night for attempting to falsely imprison and rape a hotel maid in New York City.
The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn was also slated to run as the Socialist candidate for the French presidency next year.
The New York Post describes what allegedly happened:
The trouble began at around 1 p.m. yesterday when a 32-year-old housekeeper entered Strauss-Kahn’s $3,000-a-night suite at the luxury Sofitel on West 44th Street — apparently unaware he was still inside.
The married Strauss-Kahn was in the bathroom, and emerged naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where “he jumps her,” a source said.
“She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives,” Browne said. “He tried to lock her into the hotel room.”
Soon afterward, Strauss-Kahn got dressed and headed off to JFK for a flight to Paris.
When he was approached on the plane by Port Authority cops, he said, “What is this about?” sources said. He was taken off the aircraft without handcuffs.
Strauss-Khan, who has won international praise for his stewardship of the IMF during hard economic times across the globe, was listed as the front-runner in the race for French president. Latest polling before the arrest showed he led with 26%, with Marine Le Pen, daughter of far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, following in second with 22%. Current French president Nicholas Sarkozy was third with 21.5%.
In the French election system, the top two candidates face off in a final round.
Marine Le Pen declared Strauss-Khan’s political career over, and predicted he would be asked to leave his IMF post, reports The New York Times. Socialist Party leader, Martine Aubry, called for unity in the wake of the “thunderbolt” arrest, reports Reuters.
The head of France’s Christian Democratic party, Christine Boutin, said she believed Strauss-Khan was set up, reports The New York Times. “I really believe that somebody set a trap for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to fall into,” she said. “That he could be taken in like that seems astounding, so he must have been trapped.”
French government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Sunday it was important to remain cautious and reserve judgment over Strauss-Khan’s arrest, reports Reuters, and his presumption of innocence should be respected.
This is not the first sex scandal for Strauss-Khan, reports The New York Post. French journalist Tristane Banon claimed she had to fight him off during an interiew last year.
In a case that got him labeled “the hot rabbit” in French national media, Strauss-Khan was forced to publicly apologize for having an affair with Hungarian economic Piroska Nagy at the IMF.
At about the same time as the Nagy affair, an unnamed actress told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that Strauss-Kahn acted “like a gorilla” when they were alone together in Paris.