In the sudden rush to beat collective breasts concerning the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case as the prosecution’s lead witness’s credibility issues come to light, there is something everyone seems to have forgotten . . .
When this story first broke, one of the first things that happened was that several women came out of the woodwork to talk about unwanted advances–and more–from Strauss-Kahn over the years. Let’s remind you of one:
A local official of the Socialist party claimed that Strauss-Kahn had attacked her daughter, who is goddaughter to Strauss-Kahn’s second wife, in 2002.
Tristane Banon was in her 20s and writing a book when she approached Strauss-Kahn for an interview in 2002. In a TV programme in 2007, in which Strauss-Kahn’s name had been bleeped out, Banon allegedly described him as a “rutting chimpanzee” and described how she was forced to fight him off. “It finished badly … very violently … I kicked him,” Banon said. “When we were fighting, I mentioned the word ‘rape’ to make him afraid, but it didn’t have any effect. I managed to get out.”
Banon consulted a lawyer, but did not press charges. “I didn’t want to be known to the end of my days as the girl who had a problem with the politician.”
Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, told journalists on Sunday night she had dissuaded her daughter from legal action because she believed Strauss-Kahn’s behaviour had been out of character and because of close links with his family. “Today I am sorry to have discouraged my daughter from complaining. I bear a heavy responsibility.”
And here’s another one:
[A]n indignant Nagy wrote to investigators saying: “I was not prepared for the advances of the IMF director general. I didn’t know what to do … I felt damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” Nagy left her job at the IMF after the affair, and hinted at harassment of female staff, adding that her boss had “without question” used his position to seduce her.
And let’s not forget the money:
“They already talked with her family,” a French businesswoman with close ties to Strauss-Kahn and his family told The Post. “For sure, it’s going to end up on a quiet note.”
Prosecutors in Manhattan have done their best to keep the cleaning woman out of the reach of Strauss-Kahn’s supporters, but the source was already predicting success for the Parisian pol’s pals.
“He’ll get out of it and will fly back to France. He won’t spend time in jail. The woman will get a lot of money,” said the source, adding that a seven-figure sum has been bandied about.
Just a reminder: the average monthly income where she comes from in Africa is $45.
Remember also that Kahn’s story went from the alibi of “lunch with his daughter” to “consensual sex” with blinding speed.
People are already comparing this to the Duke case, but I don’t recall the Duke guys enduring other women coming out with revelations, or seeing them change their stories. I don’t remember money changing hands.
So I have three simple questions before I join the mea culpa bandwagon:
1. Have the women from the previous cases who “came out” recanted their stories?
2. Has any money changed hands, or has any been promised to her family in Africa?
3. If the maid was making up the story all along, why did Strauss-Kahn change his story about were he was?
I think these are good questions; does anyone have good answers?
Cross posted at Datechguyblog under the title Not so fast on the Strauss-Kahn Bandwagon.