IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn in Custody for Alleged Sexual Assault (Updated)

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I’m not easily astonished, but this qualifies. From the Wall Street Journal:

A law enforcement official said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, was taken into police custody after being removed from an airplane at Kennedy Airport.

According to the official, Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman onto his bed and sodomized her at about noon Saturday inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly allowed the woman to leave then departed for the airport, the official said.

The alleged victim informed co-workers who then alerted authorities, the official said…

The arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62 years old, comes at a pivotal time for the fund. John Lipsky, Mr. Strauss-Kahn”s deputy, said last week that he is resigning in August. Mr Lipsky, the Deputy Managing Director, helped Mr Strauss-Kahn usher the fund through the global financial crisis. He has agreed to stay on as a consultant through November.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn has shepherded the IMF through a period of expanding supervisory heft and power following the global economic crisis. In the past year, the fund has played a central role in the bailouts of ailing euro-zone nations Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

For some time, Mr Strauss-Kahn has been seen as harboring ambitions to the French presidency and was considered a leading contender in France’s Socialist Party. He was dispatched to the helm of the IMF in Washington, some French political insiders day, because he was seen as a rival to President Nicholas Sarkozy. Mr. Strauss-Kahn hasn’t declared his intentions regarding the presidential race, but if planning a run, he must register his candidacy in France before mid-July

Update: One of my e-mail correspondents commented: “As it is, the IMF economically assaults every country they’re involved with, so I guess having a rapist at the helm is appropriate.”
Update 2 (11:45 PM). Boy, does the Journal have interesting definitions. The Post, which broke the story, says it was oral sex. But I’m having trouble with the notion of how one could have non-consensual oral sex (absent a credible threat of violence in the event of non-compliance)….particularly since any man who managed to force himself on a woman in that manner is putting himself at risk of grievous bodily harm. [Later update: readers tell me that the legal definition of sodomy in most states does include oral sex]

And as of 10:00 PM, he had not been charged.

Update 3:00 AM. AFP reports he will be charged with rape.

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    1. pezhead9000

      Welcome to the new world order – New Deal 3.0

      I’m sure he’ll get some form of diplomatic immunity

    2. VM

      What is the french word BUNGA BUNGA ?
      See this shows you why the private sector titan Silvio is better than the public sector (IMF) fella. Ol’Silvio first created a brand word to capture his perversion in a nut shell.

      Somehow “BUNGA BUNGA” seems less offensive than forcing the hire help….

  1. Jim Haygood

    Hope they extend the courtesy of letting him post bail in SDRs (Special Debauchery Rights).

    1. Jim Haygood

      After all, Strauss-Kahn works for the IMF (Incorrigible Maid Fluffers), and he’s here to help.

  2. Bidouille

    This is not that much of a surprise. Strauss-Kahn is well-known for being a sexual predator.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I’ve read reports that he is, um, pretty aggressive, but being what a friend of mine called “conquestial” and being a rapist are two different things.

  3. Sufferin' Succotash

    For a banker it was just business as usual. We’ve all been asking for it anyway.

  4. Dean Sayers

    Snog – The Future

    “all the hype that intoxicates us tonight
    all the crap out of which we manufacture our lives
    the rapist that’s inside every businessman
    you’re screaming for your life
    but your mouth is gone”

    David Thrussell said it first…

  5. Edwardo

    The IMF has been doing this to nation’s for years so there’s a certain disgusting poetry to this news about Mr. Khan.

    1. illusionist

      When done to a nation it is called Restructure when this act is performed on an individual it is rape. The difference between wholesale & retail.

  6. doom

    That’ll teach him to say inequality leads to instability. If DSK hadn’t tried to save Ireland from Geithner, Geithner might have let him off with the bignosed Jersey whore treatment like Spitzer, instead of getting the full Assange.

    1. Cano doncha know

      and what’s going to happen this week re: greece? he’s supposed to be meeting merkel today to work out a plan.

      1. illusionist

        “and what’s going to happen this week re: greece? he’s supposed to be meeting merkel today to work out a plan.”

        This was the plan in essence – he was just practicing so he could get into the groove before Greece…

  7. ambrit

    Hey there;
    Doesn’t anyone here care about the poor cleaning woman, (assuming it’s all true.)
    Secondly, if this isn’t some sort of ‘Badger Game’ gone wrong, look at what it tells us about the thinking of some very powerful people. Something akin to De Sade methinks.
    Finally, even assuming this encounter was ‘consensual’ in any sense, to even think about this kind of behaviour while harbouring political ambitions shows hubris of the highest order.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It goes without saying that this is terrible, but sadly male abuse of women (not just rape but the ugly grey area date rape variety) is less unusual than someone this high profile being SO stupid and reckless.

      1. john bougearel

        there is no immunity to Stupidity, and with the banking industry having evolved to be so far above the law, their very transcendence invites said Stupidity. We see this behavior of Stupidity happening repeatedly in the wide world of sports. There isn’t a year that goes by that doesn’t involve high profile stupidity such as this. Why Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger were just recent headlines.

        This too will pass and be nothing but a bad memory, Strauss-Kahn, just ask Ben and Tiger.

      2. BDBlue

        I would say it’s hubris and entitlement rather than stupidity that led to this. Assuming for the moment the allegation is true (and he is presumed not guilty), it is likely not the first time. And if you look at the stats for rape prosecutions, it’s not crazy to think you can get away with it, especially if you’re the head of the IMF and the victim is a housekeeper. Ask Kobe Bryant.

  8. Sean

    In US, sodomy is defined as penetration of any orifice. So technically, OS is sodomy. Learned this from a British TV Series. Who says watching TV is not useful.

    1. illusionist

      Interesting stuff on Brit TV.

      Immediately after that program they had a detail analysis of the various categories of farts and appreciation of the smells thereof.

  9. Leviathan

    I think I have it all worked out. He arranges with an escort service to send a prostitute to his ($3,000 a night–who pays for this?) room. Maybe a “French maid”, I don’t know, the dude is pretty old, maybe he is a traditionalist. But at the appointed hour an actual maid shows up (please let her be in on it, if not this is really twisted) and he uses her harshly. Well, Sarko would of course be behind it all. It is only slightly complicated and very Hollywood worthy, but I can’t think of another scenario that is plausible. Can you?

    1. craazyman

      That’s the best theory so far. I bet this story is only starting. Either that or he OD’d on Viagra and just lost it totally (disclaimer: I’ve never once taken Viagra so I have no idea what it does.)

      Nothing else makes sense. This dude could pick up the phone and get New York’s hottest escorts in his room within the hour. He could have 2 or 3 at once!

      Yahoo says he was in a $3000/night suite. They could run track in there while he chased them all around naked!

      Jesus, waking up to this headline and the other two:
      New York Fed bending real estate law / Servicer scams at 10 times the level claimed by Regulators (we need to think of another word for “Regulators”, but I’m not clever enough right now.)

      What a trifecta. Hard to know who’s 1st, 2nd or 3rd. They all cross the psycho finish line in one blur.

      Never a dull moment in contemporary finance.

      1. Cedric Regula

        I’m leaning towards the viagra od theory too. Just went over in my mind what hotel maids generally look like. I think he mixed up the vitamin pills with the viagra pills at a minimum. Probably the mouthwash with the cognac bottle as well. Maybe some leftover ecstasy from the night before? We’ll never know because TSA doesn’t do substance abuse testing unless you are the pilot.

        I guess there is a small chance he got lucky and a “looker” showed up. That would explain how he went straight to third base, skipping first and second. But I’m going to wait for her nude photo pics to show up on the internet before making up my mind for sure.

      2. Bill

        “Either that or he OD’d on Viagra ”

        Sure there’s a reasonable explanation: He got one of those 4 hour + erections, couldn’t get a doctor’s appt in NYC before the plane left, so used the maid…….

    2. illusionist

      Yes the alternate scenario is; He was on a conference call to Silvio in Italy and they were talking of Bunga Bunga parties. Angela was on line two going on about Greece. He was tired and his Brain mixed all this up. It was getting late for the flight and rather than take a walk to Times square or ask the Concierge desk, he took matters into his own hands.

      1. bmeisen

        Viagra over-dosed, sitting naked in the 3k/night suite, on his smart-phone wrapping up a chat with Silvio, Sarki, Angi and Tim with a tribute to the Navy Seals, when there’s a knock at the door and he realizes that his call-girl has arrived. Just enough time for a quickie and a race to JFK, sirens blaring, blue-lights flashing.

        1. illusionist

          In that confrence call – things getting hazzy – then the Ad on TV montain dew sounds like “mount and do” just like Silvio says. The TV again “Just do it” – too much to handle.

          1. bmeisen

            That’s right, that large flat-screen in the background, he’s been fooling around with the volume control, simultaneously amazed by the size of his pecker, Tim is again reaffirming his gratitude to the Seal sharpshooters, there’s a noise in the hallway and he can’t recall if he had let the call-girl out of the closet sometime before his breakfast was delivered, the Mountain Dew ad comes on and a bell goes off in his head but it sounds like a champagne cork – oh no, another bottle of champagne, they can’t use that name for this cheap cold duck shit. Mount and do!!!

  10. mitchw

    The only way this gets any better/worse is if it’s a plot by Sarko which will shortly blow up in his own face.

  11. bobs

    The IMF has been sodomizing the third world for so long its head probably thought sodomizing maids came with the job description.

  12. ambrit

    I don’t know the laws up there, but down here oral sex, even between married consenting partners can be prosecuted by the State as ‘crime against nature.’ This is indeed turning out to be a ‘stranger than fiction’ story.

      1. bob

        There were some great quotes that came out of the texas legislature during that time.

        I can’t remember the exact quote, or find it, but it was by a dem leader, talking about the repubs getting together to talk about how to proceed-

        According to texas law, as it is now, that many dicks and an assholes in close proximity is a crime, they should be arrested.

  13. Jacques

    My chauvinist and chivalrous thoughts are with DSK. First priority at this stage is the transfer to a civilized country.

    Secondly, who is going to replace him as he was to have a tête-à-tête with Angela later in Berlin?

    1. ambrit

      Mon Frere Jacques;
      How does the Channel Islands strike you. They all know him there.

    2. different clue

      Well, Jacques . . .

      New York is a very civilized city. I am confident that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be treated entirely fairly there. Aren’t you?

  14. attempter


    1. The system selects for psychopaths.

    2. The system is rigged to allow them to “legally” commit monumental crimes on a daily basis, all of it to the incessant cheerleading of the corporate media.

    3. Even where the law hasn’t yet been fixed and they’re caught commiting de jure financial crimes, the entire “justice system” collaborates in letting them skate.

    4. They’re also being allowed to commit more normal street crimes like vehiclar homicide with impunity.

    5. All of this is taking place within an intense, overheating sociopolitical environment.

    Since all these are true, we ought to expect that some of these psychopaths will take it further and test the boundaries of how far they can literally rape and murder on a personal level (by Nuremburg standards they’re all mass murderers).

    It’s inherent in the logic, and no conservative or liberal could plausibly be shocked by this, since they’re the ones who choose to allow this organized crime structure to exist and assist it in commiting such economic and political crimes in the first place. So the personal violent crimes of individual banksters are on their hands as well.

    There’s nothing individualized, exceptional, or subjective about this. This too is first and foremost a system political crime.

    1. JasonRines

      Add Kahn to the other CFR rapists such as Clinton and Gore. If we are analyzing sociopathic leaders to the structure of current allowed criminality, one must consider that the sociopaths will next attempt to silence the rape victims. The violence which does eventually lead to rebalancing will accelerate and so far it has gone one way but that never lasts. I do not condone violence it just means our species still has many centuries to go before prohibiting sociopaths to rise to power.

      I make preparations to keep my family safe for the ‘silence the rape victim phase’ and the ‘you’ve been dubbed a terrorist so you work for government making widgets free’ phase. Both are coming with world war, the inevitable conclusion of Fascism.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Rape is a bankist’s core business, esp the IMF-ers, penetrating every corner of the world like pecuniary peccaries. That the victim is reportedly an African immigrant, makes her rape by the IMF head even more symbolically disgusting.

      The behavior is not surprising at all. Even the arrogant stupidity, like slick Willie’s, may be part of the pathology. Still, we should be shocked, appalled and outraged, as we should by everything these bankists stand for.

  15. purple

    There are a number of people very happy about this. No ‘soft touch’ for Europe now.

  16. Richard Kline

    Within ten seconds of seeing the headline previously, the phrase ‘going downhill naked on roller skates’ presented itself to me. But I, too, wonder if he was expecting someone else.

    The only thing I can say with certainty is that someone else will be doing his job a month from now.

    1. john bougearel

      I’ll take the other side of that bet and say for certain he will retain his present job. Tiger is still golfing, Ben is still quarterbacking etc…..

      1. john bougearel

        Tiger, I owe an apology to, slipped my mind that he was just cheating on his wife, a momentary lapse

  17. Suite

    Regardless of what has happened. Any Human being regardless of his status or position is entitled to a fair treatment and protection of his privacy. It is a harsh World to judge a person before trial. There is a severe damage infected upon Mr. Kahn even prrior to reaching the fact of what took place. That lady had nothing to loose of this accusation but definitely she will gain. It is her life opportunity to get famous and wealthy. Mr Kahn has lost his position, reputation. The lady accusation and not keeping the confidentiality jeaopardized the image of IMF. By telling here colleagues after the fact and not telling her manager first to keep things confidential put a lot of question marks on the incident even if it took place

    1. Rex

      Eewww. That was quite a revolting string of words to read. What are you, some kind of criminal defense lawyer, a member of the privileged elite, or a previously accused rapist?

      I found your posit that, “by telling here [sic] colleagues after the fact and not telling her manager first to keep things confidential put a lot of question marks on the incident even if it took place,” was particularly lacking in empathy and stomach churning.

      1. BDBlue

        My how twisted some folks are by the patriarchy. It’s not enough that a rape victim tell people immediately (and god help the victim who doesn’t behave exactly as society proscribes), but they must tell the right person and must take care not to embarrass their rapist or his employer. Because minimizing the harm to the rapist should be every victim’s top priority.

        Everyone in presumed innocent until trial, including the head of the IMF, but that doesn’t require sliming the alleged victim or inventing onerous requirements they must meet to somehow prove they are worthy of belief.

  18. dbk

    As Yves noted above, such behavior is commoner than many of us would (like to) believe; that he should be (a) arrested and (b) charged within 12 hours is what is unusual here.

    The maid had a great deal of courage, and appears to have been supported by both her colleagues and hotel management – bravo to them all.

    And the Manhattan DA appears to feel it has a strong case. Manhattan DA white-collar (aka financial) crime division, take note, please.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      I don’t know the hotel, but it had a great deal of incentive to stop this kind of behavior in its tracks. All hotels of this nature have problems with high class call girls & as a result, all hotels of this nature have problems with guests hitting on staff.

      I once knew a man who is now the head of a major London department store. Back in the late 1970’s in his salad days he worked for a time as a night clerk in a swank Mayfair hotel, where at one point he was hit upon by a Kuwaiti female, looking for a good time. He thought it was a relationship. She thought he was a toy.

      The manager of the hotel, who obviously knows his stuff & who has the respect of his staff, has sent the world a clear message. He and they are to be congratulated.

      1. craazyman

        I dunno. That’s what a lot of guys call “getting lucky.”

        Sometimes, love hurts. ;)

      2. illusionist

        What sort of a concierge desk does that hotel run? If the money master of the world could not get his rumpy pumpy needs satisfied without resorting to force?

        1. Dave of Maryland

          Judging by the speed which the guy was arrested, the hotel management – not the concierge – had clear, explicit policies in place which the staff knew and understood. Otherwise the maid would have slunk off & collapsed in tears & not got her story out for a week. By which time no one would have believed her.

          I’ve worked in places which had clearly stated policies like this. This is one case where the bureaucracy worked. Will the hotel lose customers as a result? Yes, but they clearly do not care. This is a hotel where the staff is clearly proud of itself – and justifiably so. Do we know which hotel it was?

  19. dearieme

    The French Press is notoriously slack on reporting abuses of power by French politicians. Maybe DSK just forgot where he was. Or maybe he thought that he was an honorary Clinton or Kennedy.

    1. Maju

      He’s the chief of the IMF: he’s definitively more important than Clinton (not sure why you included Kennedy, as he’s dead). He’s probably even more important than Obama if you push it a bit, at least his equal, as he is the Chief Banker of the World and Obama is just a figurehead (whoever thinks he has any real power raise his hand).

    2. illusionist

      He was in a French hotel – HMMM guess that does not get him any additional brownie points. Damn

  20. Ellen Anderson

    Men who do things like this (assuming the story is true as it is reported) are obsessed with power. It has little to do with sex and everything to do with the exercise of power.

    You can be sure that this will not have been the first time he has done something like this. Being able to behave this way and then having it excused and covered up is all part of his proving to himself that he really is powerful. I think that is why so many politicians act out in ways that would seem so dangerous to themselves. The danger is part of the thrill. Paying for it would not produce the same effect.

    1. WirtschaftsministeR

      little to do with sex and everything to do with the exercise of power.

      You can be sure that this will not have been the first time he has done something like this. Being able to behave this way and then having it excused and covered up is all part of his proving to himself that he really is powerful. I think that is why so many politicians act out in ways that would seem so dangerous to themselves. The danger is part of the thrill

      ~~Ellen Anderson~

      Propping up his ego with power adventures reveals his inner defect. After all, it is not real power if it can’t be corrupted. Adventure cannot be enjoyed without the excitement of danger. The guy obviously did it. The only question remaining is, “Was he set up?”!

      During famous trial of double murder I asked my cab driver the usual question, “Do you think he was guilty?”. Cool Dude New York Hack ignores traffic long enough to look back at me and say, “If he is found guilty, that means he is not enough powerful, not enough wealthy to escape the frame jobby. But if they find him not guilty, it means that he was not framed. Not guilty means that he knifed his own wife and that Jewish Guy.”

      Would you guess that powerful politician and his advisers, his advisers paid by French Taxes decided to set up this Sleaze Bag? If, then the verdict will be guilty. Else, the douche bag will walk.

      You can bet other peoples money on it!

      You can BANK on it

  21. Roger Bigod

    This kind of case used to be hard to make because it comes down to he-said-she-said. But a DNA test can nail it for the prosecution, so to speak, as we all remember from the tell-tale spot on the blue dress. The authorities may have been so confident in announcing the arrest because they know the case is solid.

    Which still leaves some open questions. This kind of event must happen a lot in the hotel business, and probably gets taken care of without publicity. Maybe it was a set-up, but a guy in his position has to know it was high-risk behavior.

    The contorted language is always amusing. Traditionally, all (blushes, looks away) irregular sex was described in the law as “sodomy” or “the abominable crime against nature”. Perhaps it was squeamishness about using explicit language in court and legal documents, or maybe they didn’t want to give people ideas.

    Daddy, what did the boys do in Gomorrah?

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Glad you asked. In Genesis 19, the boys turned down two virgin females, offered by their own father, in favor of two strange males. Among those in the crowd were the girls’ own fiances, who would would neither speak up on their behalf, nor claim them as their own.

      1. Roger Bigod

        That’s what happened in Sodom. And it’s not necessarily gay. Maybe the guys in the crowd had the hots for angels.

        Meanwhile, what kind of kinky stuff was going down in Gomorrah?

  22. Diogenes

    This is the one and the same head of the IMF who confidently declared on September 23, 2008 to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper:

    “The way it looks at the moment, neither the U.S. nor the global economy will drift into recession. But we see a protracted economic slowdown and even the recovery we expect next year will be sluggish.”

    A guy this dumb deserved to be put away long ago.

  23. Externality

    According to a recent book about Strauss-Kahn, he has a history of inappropriate conduct towards women:

    However, the author claims the [2008] IMF affair may only be the tip of the iceberg, quoting French actress Danielle Evenou as saying: “Who hasn’t been cornered by Dominique Strauss-Kahn?” She tells of another female Socialist MP who claims she makes sure she is never alone in a room with him.

    Tristane Banon, a writer, claims she had to fend Mr Strauss-Kahn off with kicks and punches when he invited her to a meeting in a room furnished with a double bed and a television.

    When he turned up for a radio interview in France last year, the house comedian advised female staff to wear long garments to avoid “awakening the beast”.

    The “IMF scandal” refers to Strauss-Kahn’s affair with and alleged subsequent preferential treatment of a married subordinate at the IMF.

    1. Externality

      Interestingly, this is second sex scandal in four years to involve the head of a supranational financial institution.

      In 2005, Bush administration official, Iraq War architect, and prominent neocon Paul Wolfowitz was named head of the World Bank. Two years later, Wolfowitz was forced to step down when it was discovered that he arranged a promotion and $60K/year pay raise for his mistress, who also worked at the World Bank. Wolfowitz also arranged for her to be “‘seconded to the [US] State Department’, or placed on ‘external assignment,’ assigned ‘a job at the state department under Liz Cheney.'” After considerable controversy, the Bank’s governing board concluded he had acted unethically, and allowed him to resign rather than be fired.

      1. Corporate Clone

        Let’s not forget it’s the third sex scandal bringing down people who might attack our corporate fascist cause.

        First, there was that nasty guy Elliot Spitzer who prosecuted our guys on Wall Street. Too bad he used call girls.

        Then there was that idiot Assange who wanted to help whistleblowers. Too bad he raped some Swedish women.

        Now, the challenger to our guy Sarkozy. Too bad he couldn’t keep his hands off the cleaning maid.

        As it turns out, anyone who can stop us is a sex criminal. Who woulda thunk?

        1. F. Beard

          As it turns out, anyone who can stop us is a sex criminal. Who woulda thunk? Corporate Clone

          Perhaps sexual sins are an area where bankers are not weak but many of their opponents are.

          But bankers do have a weakness that few exploit. Bankers systematically steal purchasing power from the entire population including and especially the poor. But how many liberals and progressives have a problem with that? Hmmm?

        2. Externality

          Let’s not forget it’s the third sex scandal bringing down people who might attack our corporate fascist cause

          Neocons such as Wolfowitz helped create the corporatist, neo-fascist state that Americans currently live in.

          He currently works at the American Enterprise Institute, which promotes a corporatist world view.

        3. illusionist

          “As it turns out, anyone who can stop us is a sex criminal. Who woulda thunk?”

          Archie Bunker thunked that a long time ago. (He used to say something like “commie payverts” or somesuch.

          Notice candidates try to be folksy almost like Archie is their idol…

  24. strega

    There is one hell of a difference between a married man having a consensual liaison with a lover and behaving in a sexually and physically abusive manner toward a a vulnerable stranger. The two instances are not comparable. Straus-Kahn remains married to the wife he ‘betrayed’ thus that episode is not fodder for consideration regarding this news item.

    What appears to be a description of priapism in extremis may or may not be due to the use of a pharmaceutical aid. It may be more attributable to hubris than a physical malady.

    Those of us who have dealt with the ‘market place’ where women, whatever their achieved positions (no double entendre’) learn to spot and avoid these creeps can hold forth regarding multiple instances of inappropriate suggestions, physical contact that is not invited and often has to be harshly fended, and, if nothing else, an accumulated history of angry rejected boors who often take their revenge by boasting of a conquest that never occurred.

    Wasn’t an Israeli govt. official recently convicted of a similar charge? The common denominator in many of these instances is the age of the perpetrator, the achievement of a position of authority and the opportunity to behave this egregiously with little or no penalty.

    The remarkable differences, thus far, are the behaviour of the maid’s employer (kudos to him), the description of the ‘perp walk’ from the plane and the follow-up by the NY authorities. The woman who was accosted is working in an industry that carries a significant amount of risk as a daily constituent of her job description. Every employee who is required to enter a ‘private space’ to provide a service is aware of the potential for trouble. My sympathies and support are with her and anyone who has the brass to follow this through to an appropriate resolution.

  25. Dan Duncan

    IMF Head: Was it forced oral sex or a garden-variety blow job?

    WikiLeaks Head: Was it a molestation of a sleeping woman without a condom or the morning after regret of:
    Sex. Sleep. “Oh God. Please tell me I didn’t have sex with that!”

    I have no idea. And neither do you.

    What I do know, however, is how sexual perspectives shift in accordance with one’s ideological leanings. It’s pathetic, really.

    With that stated, I just gotta say: The best comment on this news story comes from Roger Bigod at 8:03 am. In fact, this is one of the most awesome comments I have ever read on this site.

    A repeat of Roger’s first paragraph, I am sure, will be welcomed by one and all:

    This kind of case used to be hard to make because it comes down to he-said-she-said. But a DNA test can nail it for the prosecution, so to speak, as we all remember from the tell-tale spot on the blue dress. The authorities may have been so confident in announcing the arrest because they know the case is solid.

    An instant classic.

    I just have one question, though, for Roger. It’s a question that I had never thought to ask. But after reading Roger’s analysis, this question now comes to me with a heightened sense of throbbing urgency:

    What happens to semen after the climax of consensual sex?

    1. Cedric Regula

      Obviously, we have yet to find out if the maid kept her wits about her and obtained and saved the evidence. The prosecution will present the case and the defense will counter with their arguments. Any video evidence from hidden room cameras will be non-admissible as evidence. After some deliberation, the jury will decide.

      Let the trial begin!

    2. Roger Bigod

      Thanks for the compliments. I’m glad, in a platonic way of course, that you found the comments stimulating. To be pedantic, semen clots and the clot dissolves after a few minutes using the same proteins that produce and reverse blood clotting. I’m not aware of any clinical application for this, but I’ve been told that the quality of a person’s liberal education is measured by the number of impractical but interesting pieces of information he has.

      1. Frank

        The other evidence aside from the DNA will be the videotapes from the hotel’s hallway and lobby. These tapes will show the maid entering and leaving with timestamps. It will also show Strauss Kahn leaving.

        Granted the tapes are not of the alleged act. However, they will serve to corroborate one of the parties story. I would bet that the NYPD have already viewed them.

        As tragic as this is on an individual level, it is even more alarming thinking of it on global scale (assuming the allegations prove true). How could the IMF have a person at the helm with such unbeleivable poor judgment and complete lack of compassion.

        Sadly this episode will probably be bought out with S-K paying the maid a sizable amount of money for her not pursuing a civil suit and her confidentiality (not testifying or pursuing rape charges).

  26. perfect stranger

    While I do not know whether he has predatory sexual “nature” or not, or, is this assault has happened, he certainly belongs to oligarchical class. That said, he is sociopath and social engineer of the highest order.
    What strike me is the timing, and this is a second time. I think the big picture is this: DSC is direct opponent of Sarcozy, current French president with freshly renewed and revived colonial/imperial ambition in Africa and Asia. Sarcozy’s popularity in France is very low, and DSC posed danger to him. The favorite candidate of the U.S. elite is obvious, and he (Sarcozy) perfectly fits current geostrategic aims of the Western world.
    If that anything means Sarcozy’s half-brother is managing director of Goldman-Sachs. It seems to me, he (DSC) was “warned” first time, now “they” slapped him. Finally and again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is involved in this, but “Honey trap” and sexual scandals are favorite tools of the more powerful opponent, and DSC is no match to Sarcozy and establishment on both sides of the Atlantic ocean.

  27. ScottW

    And the ending to this tale–the maid mysteriously disappears, and with no prosecuting witness the case is dismissed. Mission accomplished–guilty without a trial.

    1. Maju

      I’d say, without knowing the details, that the strength of the accusation is in the many co-workers that are witnesses (not of the rape as such probably but of the aftermath, which is probably as good: they can testify how distressed she was, etc.)

      Even if the case would be dismissed, Strauss-Kahn’s image is tainted forever: he’s politically dead.

  28. F. Beard

    Having quickly assumed the man was guilty (Is a banker ever innocent? No!) I am now suspicious of a sexual frame job.

    But guilty or not the IMF should be abolished anyway along with the Fed.

  29. Thingumbobesquire

    The Ironic Fate of Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    If your author were given to anthropomorphisms, I would imagine that somewhere on high an angelic host must be heartily amused at the charges of sodomic rape brought against Messier Strauss-Kahn. For it is certain that the institution he heads has been engaged for lo these many years in rapine of nation after nation with their killer IMF conditionalities. Yes, Acadia, the evil Olympian gods which Socrates (who died for bringing forward the truth) exposed as manufactured frauds of the ancient oligarchy are once again afoot. Today they are in the disguise of financial “elites” and “technocrats” scheming to stuff the pockets of their masters with filthy lucre at the expense of your children’s future being swallowed up in a disgusting parody of the myths about these evil oligarchic gods. Today, we are as if shackled watching the would be soothsayers’ 3-D mime show extravaganza on the cave wall, produced in Hollywood, of course, which tells us that Gaia, mother earth (that whore) must be appeased with the blood of her sinful human creatures…Their crime? Daring to grasp the Promethean fire of the intellect and drag humanity out of that putrid cave. Daring to shout from the rooftops that it is evermore our destiny to explore and to live amongst the stars. Daring to propose that the bluff of the City of London and Wall Street be called…

  30. Foobar


    0. Losing one’s cell phone proves nothing.
    1. “Forced oral sex” can be resolved by just biting hard.
    2. After such a thing one would clean one’s mouth, so there will be no evidence.
    3. Hookers are cheaper than $3000 / night hotel rooms so there’s no monetary motive.
    4. The cost (prison, loss of presidential campaign in France) / benefit ratio is hard to misunderstand for someone who had problems over a consensual extra-marital affair earlier.

    Therefore the question is: What had he decided to do that pissed others off so badly they had to get rid of him? SDRs? Forgive Greek debt?

  31. casanova

    I have stayed at Sofitel and other similar hotels very often. There is no chance in hell the maid will come in and start cleaning up if the guest is inside, let alone in the bathroom.
    Furthermore all the doors are operated with electronic cards and the hotel staff don’t even have to come in to know that the guest is inside. So it seems a strange story to say the least.
    This is not to say that DSK is not capable of doing what the allegation say. All those psycho financed types live on hookers and heroin most of the time.
    I have to say kudos to NYPD, because had such a story happened in Europe, we certainly would have never heard of. I am confident justice will be done.

    1. illusionist

      What sort of concierge desk do they run? Surely they could have taken care of the needs without guests needing to resort to such means for rumpy pumpy ??

  32. i

    Non-consensual oral sex. Uh, yeah. Sure. At least they didn’t bury the maid at sea with no pictures and claim that she had a porn stash.

    For some reason, this guy is being set up in an effort to discredit the IMF or delay its actions. Given the charges, I’d say its being done incompetently. There’s some factional game going on here whose details we may never know.

  33. SqueekyFromm

    Well, I wrote a song about it last night when the news hit, because maybe there will be justice after all:

    To the tune of Dominique
    by Squeeky Fromm

    Dominque, nique, nique
    I will tell of Dominique
    And of his foibles, too
    How he took a little maid,
    On the hotel bed he laid
    Made her play his wee Kazoo.

    I will tell of Dominique and I hope you will sing with
    Dominique would sing it also but his Lawyer pleads the Fifth!!!

    Dominque, nique, nique
    Oh she told on Dominique!
    Before he left for France.
    Now the cops they made it there.
    And they stripped his derriere
    Seized his underwear and pants.

    But Dominque he asked them “Do you not know who I am?
    “I am a world wide Banker!” as the the old cell door went “slaaamm!”

    Dominque, nique, nique
    Oh Mon Dieu! Poor Dominique.
    With Bubba in his cell.
    Bubba’s house was foreclosed on
    With a robo-signed ARM loan.
    “Welcome, Dominique, to HELL!!!”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    (OH PLUS, here is a youtube of the song in case anybody does not know the tune:

      1. SqueekyFromm

        Thank you!!! I think that is how they spell his name, too. Maybe that is what happened to him. You know, maybe he grew up like a “Boy named Sue”???

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  34. Gregor

    Hmmm…the IMF talks about replacing the US Dollar with SDR and suddenly the head of the IMF is a rapist. Sounds like the Julian Assange playbook. Any bets the maid turns out to be the only non-hispanic maid in New York City?

  35. The lives of others

    How easily men forget that they wear their intelligence in one of their two opposite extremities, interchangeably.
    Whether the accused is guilty or not, there is no question that intelligent men can behave the way Straus- Kahn is accused to have done without the help of adversaries or conspiracies against them.
    Some of the comments here betray misogyny.
    No opera fans here either.
    Rigoletto and the Marriage of Figaro, for your enjoyment.

  36. Eric L. Prentis

    This IMF rape report is an apt metaphor for the credit crisis. Profligate Wall Street bankers, in conjunction with venal Washington politicians, force US taxpayers to bail out the financial markets, i.e., to suck banker dick, while the bankers—-with record bonuses this year-—and politicians-—President Obama expects one billion dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street—-go right on partying while the real economy is ignored.

    Bankers=Politicians=Bankers=Politicians, etc. Our leaders care only about perception, spin, propaganda and lies, and have no idea about the truth.

  37. Firean

    And this is the same “IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn had given coded support in public for the Irish position”.


    “IMF was willing last November to haircut €30 billion of unguaranteed bonds by roughly two-thirds on average, but that Geithner’s disapproval on a conference call killed the idea:” Was it Strauss-Kahn’s idea that Geithner torpedoed ? For whom would the removal Mr.Dominique Strauss-Kahn be beneficial, not only from the IMF yet also his removal from the forthcoming French elections ?

    Now they have Lipsky at the helm, the ex JPMorgan man.Though Lipsky had already announced his desire to leave the IMF does he hold the same views as Strauss-Kahn ?

    By the way, the man is innocent until proven guilty. Or is this trial and jury via the media ?

    1. Firean

      Having a extra-marital affair with a consenting partner is not indicative of being a rapist.

  38. Cro

    I’m a Deputy in Kansas. We deal with sodomy cases like this quite frequently. In fact a male in my department’s custody was just sentenced to 90 years for the exact same crime. (Albeit he was somewhat of a serial rapist.) He did not engage in normal intercourse that I am aware of, simply forced oral sex and then occasionally performed other acts of sodomy.

    I cannot speak to the idea of Strauss-Kahn being set up or wrongly accused of a crime to remove him from a position of inconvenience. It certainly would not be the first time such a thing had ever been perpetrated.

    However, it may be illuminating that if he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate prior to this, it may be indicative of a person who would do such a thing. That has been my experience. And yes, I only mean ‘MAY BE indicative’

  39. illusionist

    98 Comments so Far. Come on guys we can hit a hundred on this circus. Come on Come. Bunga Bunga time!!!

  40. MichaelC

    A few more scenarios I haven’t seen in comments yet.

    Is this a possible (political) suicide by cop? (Unlikely, but his world is in the crapper)


    Was he acting with impunity, assumming Sofitel is a French chain so he felt safe on home turf? (Plausible, methinks)

    Does a high wanker, oops, ranker like the head of the IMF travel with a security detail? Were they out to brunch?
    (not enough info to judge)

    Whatever the case, this victim at least has a chance at some justice, (assuming her allegation is true).

  41. Phil Garner

    While I would accept this as third base, my understading of the actual substance of third base was different.

    One reason I’ve always hated sports metaphors.

  42. Roger Bigod

    The time line is interesting. The incident occurred at 1 PM but the arrest wasn’t until 2 AM the next morning. Possibly they could find him before he boarded the flight. Even allowing some time to have the victim examined and treated, there’s hours and hours during which phone calls were made. It looks like some MOTU said to nail him. And under circumstances of maximal surprise and embarrassment, with highly detailed stories for the press.

    This sounds like what happened to Spitzer. He was indeed a bad boy, but he’d never have been caught unless someone had snooped through his bank account.

    I’m not expressing approval for a two-tier justice system, just noting that we have one to some extent. Arguably DKS and Spitzer got worse treatment than a less prominent person would. Assuming it wasn’t a set-up, the victim here got some immediate vindication though.

  43. skippy

    Low point thread…sigh.

    Skippy…sign of the times…how many needed to beat ZH and monkey cage comment section.

    PS. Attempter…psychopathy is a pathogen.

    1. illusionist

      “PS. Attempter…psychopathy is a pathogen.”

      If you wanna label it
      Can we do Moral nihilism or amoral rather than psychopathy? Seems less clinical.

      1. Skippy

        At least they can claim illness and not forethought with intent.

        Skippy…you pick, seems your endeavor today.

  44. Lune

    Hmm… I think this incident is going to be simpler than all the hoopla around it suggests.

    1) The actual crime. As a previous commentator noted, it will having nothing to do with speculations / theories, nor anecdotes about prior behavior and alleged incidents, and everything to do with the physical evidence. Assuming they have hallway video footage showing that Strauss-Kahn and no one else was in the room, along with footage showing the maid coming in and out, then you can’t argue it wasn’t him. Next, if you have DNA evidence, which can include semen samples, or skin flakes under the maid’s fingernails (showing there was a fight), or even her saliva or other bodily fluids on Strauss-Kahn or his clothing (proving sexual contact of some sort), then the only question remaining is whether the incident was consensual. I don’t think that will be too hard to determine.

    2) Was he set up? Highly unlikely. It seems that Strauss-Kahn left in a hurry. That implies he *knew* he did something wrong and someone was going to come after him (granted, he might have thought only that the manager was going to throw him out, and that it wouldn’t go to the police, but either way he knew there was going to be trouble). Regardless of the details of the setup, a frame requires that the person being set up doesn’t know he’s being framed. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

    The only other reason I can think of that he left in a hurry is that he was late for his plane. However, he was in a private plane, and typically, private planes wait for the passengers, not the other way around. So I doubt he felt so pressed to make his flight that he forgot his cellphone in the hotel. Also, the setups that have been bandied about so far (mistook her for an escort, etc.) still imply that he knowingly committed a crime (albeit a less severe one of soliciting a prostitute). He’s not entirely blameless here.

    3) The political fallout at the IMF. He’s already replaced as IMF director. I don’t think he’ll return, even if found innocent. While the French have perhaps more forgiving attitudes towards sexual indiscretions (which is what this likely amounts to if he’s proven innocent of assault) the IMF director must have the confidence and support of all the member nations (or at least all the “big” nations, and a substantial majority of the rest). That’s highly unlikely regardless of whether he’s found innocent.

    4) French politics. I’m not an expert on french politics, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen; I figure it will depend quite a bit on what he’s ultimately found guilty of, and whether another politician is able to consolidate the Socialists’ support in the meantime.

    Anyway, my suspicion is that the case is so clear cut, there will likely be a plea bargain rather than an actual trial, probably involving no jail time, substantial fines and financial restitution to the victim, and a quick deportation back to France, potentially with some jail time being served there.

    Finally, I recognize that plenty of the articles on this site have fodder for gallows humor, much of it a healthy defense mechanism to the wreckage we see in the financial world. But can I humbly request that we stop such jokes when the story involves the actual physical assault and violation of another fellow human being?

    1. illusionist

      Who cares? Any which way it is still great theater.
      Just what slow economic times call for.

    2. sapeurcamembert

      He was not in a private plane. he was on a regular Air France flight..first class.
      I am French and I am more or less convinced that everything was set up, probably arranged by french secret service acting on behalf of agency vaguely associated with the french presidency (Sarkozy).
      Blogger in France, associated with the political right wing announced the event (twitter) BEFORE it was public..highly suspect and the hotel chain where it was (SOFITEL) is owned by a closely friend of President Sarkozy. Made your own conclusions…

      1. Coq au Vin de la Rotisserie

        If he is ultimately acquitted, and the exculpatory evidence is very good, this conclusion will be unavoidable.
        Then the whole of Sarkozy’s government will collapse, which means Sarkozy must do everything in his power to make sure DSK is convicted.

      2. actos morbosos

        French and I am more or less convinced that everything was set up, probably arranged by french secret service acting on behalf of agency vaguely associated with the french presidency (Sarkozy).
        Blogger in France, associated with the political right wing announced the event (twitter) BEFORE it was public

        Would you guess that the escapade itself would be considered small potatoes and politically negligible to French Voters on the one hand, but on the other, “How can guy run for office when he is locked behind bars?”! If found guilty thus it was a frame jobby. Else, it was just one more psychopath unable to quit before blowing his cover.

        People can’t change

    3. ambrit

      Dear Lune;
      Yes, we can stop the ‘jokes,’ but only by recognizing our own deficiencies. Lots of what passes for humor, especially relating to sexual matters, is the result of an embarassed feeling of collateral guilt. A lot of people, predominantly men, harbour fantasies of dealing with dominance issues through sexual agression. Encountering someone who actually acts out these often violent urges puts the person in a classic double bind. To support the action and the actor is to flout civilized norms and invite general rejection and loss of status. To come out and publically reject it is to somehow admit that the individual is not perfect, because we, (non saintly men at least,) all have these fantasies from time to time. Thus, we turn it all into a big “joke,” not wanting to admit that we all, inside, recognize it for what it is; a crime of violence.

  45. Bubba Joe Cletus-Hawg

    This thread kind of reminds me of Happy Hour at a Cooter’s Backyard Bar, a redneck men’s bar/strip club somewhere in Texas.

    1. Bubba Joe Cletus-Hawg

      Mama! Jofestuss is out eat’n cow shit again! Can I whack’em upside’da head wida stalk’a corn?


  46. pezhead9000

    Meet the next bankster sodomite to lead the IMF: John Lipsky will step in as acting managing director of the IMF

    Lipsky’s bio:

    Formerly Vice Chairman of JPMorgan’s investment bank
    At JPM, he “advised the firm’s principal market risk takers, published independent research on the principal forces shaping global financial markets, was actively engaged with JPMorgan’s key clients, and represented the firm around the world with senior public and financial sector decision makers.”

    1. bob

      That won’t be for long. He’s american, by the looks of his CV. Europe always has had the head of the IMF, the US gets to appoint the head of the World bank.

      One of those ‘unwritten rules’ that dates back to bretton woods.

  47. SH

    I’m with the plaintiff. Since you brought it up Yves, “no means no”. I was surprised by your candor, but disappointed by your anlaysis.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m not saying the maid was not abused. I’m saying the story (forced oral sex) does not add up. Big difference.

  48. Foobar

    This is hard to figure out. On the one hand we have a pretty damning report of a French Journalist who claims DSK tried to rape her.

    On the other hand, it does seem he was trying to change the IMF’s direction so it avoids shock doctrine when it intervenes.

    Obviously if the guy’s “a chimpanzee in heat” as the lady French Journalist said back in 2007, it’s easier to get him to compromise himself. But on the other hand there’s reason to believe it’s Kompromat too…

    1. Austarian Auster

      The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the austerity agenda at the IMF or for Sarkozy. The suspicion gains even more oomph from the fact Sarkozy warned him last week about keeping his willy in his pants when he was in America.

      You might say this couldn’t be more perfect if Sarkozy had planned it himself.

  49. gepay

    I have no idea what the truth is of what happened.It is hard for me to understand how someone in DSK’s position would need to rape a maid. If he raped a maid I am all for the victim and criminal prosecution.
    To me there is also a strong possibility that he was set up; DSK being an important person with strong and sleazy probable opponents like Sarkozy.
    There are just not enough details available to convict someone before a trial.

  50. ambrit

    After reading Mz Smiths last post I’m a bit confused. Now it’s not non consensual buggery but non consensual fellatio? Ahem, I must agree with the lady, it doesn’t add up indeed. We need much more honest evidence here. Unless the ‘authorities’ are quickly forthcoming this is going to be a conspiracy theorists paradise. However, I must stick to my earlier position. Force of some sort is propelling this narrative, and nothing good can come of it.

  51. Gerald Muller

    I am surprised that the usual legal and moral point that “a man is supposed innocent until convicted by a jury after a fair trial” seems to have been forgotten by most comments.

  52. Maju

    For those who say that non-consensual oral sex is impossible, they are very wrong. Obviously a super-VIP like Strauss-Kahn travels with a little army of bodyguards and either DSK himself or his mercenaries could have threatened the victim with a gun or other weapons. In such case, you do not dare to do anything, unless you have strong rebellious instinct and low survival one maybe (in that case you’re probably not the maid of a 5-stars hotel: you’d been fired in the second day or so).

    Besides, I’m not even sure oral rape is the case here but it is indeed possible (not to mention ring gags and other such SM – or just dentist’s – paraphernalia to keep the mouth open no matter what.

    What is not clear is why DSK would do that, as he can obviously pay for the most expensive prostitute. He might have been framed into believing that the maid was a sex worker? Was he high on some extreme drugs?

  53. Perfect Stranger

    Just as I sad before:

    The very first overseas trip of newly elected French President was to USA to the Maine’s Bush compound – “fishing with the Royal family of the Bush”. Just Google it!
    Tons of photos and articles.

    This is just power-struggle among the hyenas.

    IMF’s Strauss-Kahn facing French smear campaign – ally

    What astound me is that someone who pays $3.000 for the hotel’s apartment, and who is on top of the food-chain of society, “sexually attack” maid who makes $8-$10 an hour!? That folks, hotel workers are treated, more or less, like a slaves. And, than, he is getting arrested, in publicly spectacular way – at the airport. If “someone” want me to believe that “justice is being served” – in society where the justice (even elementary one) is unaccessible to those at bottom and middle of the food-chain than he/she is living in la-la land.

    While this above isn’t proof of anything, the Reuter’s news of May 14, 2011 tell us a lot more:–ally/683624.html

    Probably was buried in the ocean of the information, somewhere…nobody paying attention.

  54. Ivan

    Maybe he tried ,and failed, to implement a “greek rescue” over the poor cleaning woman.

  55. bob goodwin

    “But I’m having trouble with the notion of how one could have non-consensual oral sex (absent a credible threat of violence in the event of non-compliance)….particularly since any man who managed to force himself on a woman in that manner is putting himself at risk of grievous bodily harm.”

    Yves, I doubt anyone would be so foolish as to choose you as a victim, for the reasons you cite, however a maid is likely to be more demure on many levels. A smart and demure maid would (in my opinion) assume the assailant is dangerous, and try to escape, but would otherwise be compliant.

    Of course I have no experience on either end of these transactions, so am offering an opinion of the credibility of the claims, not on the facts.

  56. brainOnaut

    this is all bullshit, this was clearly an ambush, you can´t tell me that in a first-class hotel with keycards the roomate can go into a room that is still occupied…
    and what about his security? and first the rape took place at 1 pm and then suddenly changes to 12 am as it become clear he had lunch with his daughter at 12:30?
    this is so fucked up!

  57. ScottS

    Honestly, when I picture our social betters, I think of the yellow goblin from Sin City.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these accusations were true. I wouldn’t be surprised if he dined on live puppies. I wouldn’t be surprised if his life was the basis for Eyes Wide Shut.

    I feel awful for the poor woman this happened to, and all the 25% of women who are sexually assaulted. I find it shocking that this is not in the public consciousness.

    What I can’t get around is why this has come to the surface. Sad to say, but guys at this level don’t get caught for things like this unless they pissed off the wrong person. My tinfoil hat is twitching like crazy. I guess this has to do with setting an example for anyone who talks about haircuts in Europe. The leaders of the PIIGS have been put on notice.

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