x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's ex-lover willing to testify

A Frenchwoman claiming to be an ex-lover of the former IMF chief said she would testify in the scandal over charges against him of attempted rape if asked, in an interview published yesterday by a French newspaper.

PARIS // A Frenchwoman claiming to be an ex-lover of the former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said she would testify in the scandal over charges against him of attempted rape if asked, in an interview published yesterday by a French newspaper.

She was photographed and identified as Marie-Victorine M, a 38-year-old consultant, by the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, which said she started an affair with Mr Strauss-Kahn in 1997 after her father introduced them. She also described her affair with Mr Strauss-Kahn in an interview published this weekend in the Swiss magazine L'Illustre, in which she said her testimony would most likely help Mr Strauss-Kahn's defence.

"I am not here to kick a man who is down," she added in that interview. She replied "yes" when asked if she would testify, but told L'Illustre: "I think that would no doubt benefit his defence more than his accusers."

She said in both interviews that she had been quizzed by the lawyer of Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accuses the powerful French politician of sexually assaulting and trying to rape her in a hotel room.

Ms Diallo spoke out this week about the case after prosecutors shed doubt on her credibility and a judge released Mr Strauss-Kahn from house arrest. Ms Diallo's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, warned of a civil suit even if Mr Strauss-Kahn escapes criminal trial.

Another Frenchwoman, the writer Tristane Banon, 32, has brought a legal action against Mr Strauss-Kahn alleging that he tried to rape her in Paris in 2003.

Ms Banon is the goddaughter of Mr Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife and the daughter of a fellow member of his opposition Socialist party.

She has admitted having a consensual sexual encounter with him.

Ms Banon, too, has talked to Ms Diallo's legal team.