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Strauss-Kahn may sue over 'slanderous' allegations of Paris assault

The former IMF head rejects claims he assaulted novelist Tristane Banon – and may bring his own case to court.

Former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn rejects allegations that he sexually assaulted a French novelist during an interview in 2002.
Former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn rejects allegations that he sexually assaulted a French novelist during an interview in 2002.
Image: Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

THE FORMER HEAD of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is considering filing a counter-complaint in response to allegations that he sexually assaulted a novelist nine years ago.

Lawyers for writer Tristane Banon, who claimed Strauss-Kahn assaulted her in 2002, will today make a criminal complaint relating to the incident.

Banon claimed that that the alleged incident took place in a flat in Paris where she was interviewing the then-Socialist MP.

The allegations are not new – Banon had first discussed them on a TV interview in 2007, though Strauss-Kahn’s name was bleeped out of the first broadcast.

Banon had previously intended not to lodge any complaint until the ongoing case involving his alleged rape of a New York chambermaid had been resolved, however.

She said she had not reported it any earlier on the wishes of her mother, who is a high-ranking local party colleague of Strauss-Kahn’s.

The New York Times quoted Strauss-Kahn’s own solicitors who said Banon’s allegations were ‘imaginary’. They pointed out that Banon’s original account of events described the incident as having taken place in 2002, while more recent mentions placed it in 2003.

Insisting the alleged indiscretions never took place, the solicitors were discussing launching a counter-suit describing the claims as slanderous, AP added.

An excerpt of Banon’s complaints has been published in L’Express magazine, which claimed the then-minister had “grabbed her… and dragged her to the floor, pulling off some of her clothes and forcing his hand into her underwear.”

Banon said she escaped Strauss-Kahn by kicking him until he relented.

The case in New York, which remains outstanding despite Strauss-Kahn’s release from house arrest, is beginning to unravel as prosecutors look into the background of the hotel maid who claims he forced himself upon her.

Read: French novelist to file attempted rape accusations against Strauss-Kahn >

Read: Strauss-Kahn ‘refused to pay prostitute maid for sex’ – report >

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Gavan Reilly

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