Tristane Banon, the French writer who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, has given her first television interview since filing her criminal complaint. She said pressing charges was the only way to finally put the incident behind her.

"/> Tristane Banon, the French writer who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, has given her first television interview since filing her criminal complaint. She said pressing charges was the only way to finally put the incident behind her.

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Banon gives first TV interview over DSK affair

Tristane Banon, the French writer who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, has given her first television interview since filing her criminal complaint. She said pressing charges was the only way to finally put the incident behind her.

Banon gives first TV interview over DSK affair

Banon, 32, says the former International Monetary Fund director attempted to rape her in an empty apartment during an interview she conducted with him in February 2003 for a book she was writing.

In an interview on Wednesday evening with public broadcaster France 2, she was asked why she had waited eight years before reporting the incident to the police.

“It was very difficult before. For eight years, I believed that by not pressing charges, by listening to the advice given to me by my mother and by journalists, I could forget about it,” she said. “In fact, that’s not possible. One only realizes that with time.”

She denied rumours that have been circulating that she is psychologically fragile or has been manipulated into pressing charges, perhaps by Strauss-Kahn’s political opponents, after he was accused in May by a hotel maid in New York of sexual assault. Before that incident, Strauss-Kahn was seen as a leading presidential contender in France’s 2012 elections. He is currently on bail in New York, waiting for his next court appearance on August 1st.

Banon has done volunteer work for the city council of Boulogne-Billancourt, which is controlled by the conservative UMP party.

“I am neither unstable nor have I been manipulated, either by the city council of my city, by politicians on the left or right, by my lawyer or by my mother,” she insisted. “I am 32 years old and I can make my own decisions, even if they are difficult ones.”

Strauss-Kahn has denied any wrongdoing regarding Banon, calling her story of attempted rape “imaginary.” His lawyers have filed a slander complaint against her.

To critics who have accused her of courting publicity, the novelist shot back with the sardonic observation that the process she was going through was “very well paid.”

On Wednesday Banon’s mother, socialist party politician Anne Mansouret, was questioned by police regarding the case. It was she who had encouraged Banon not to press charges against Strauss-Kahn after the alleged incident. Mansouret said she gave police the names of “a certain number of people who played a role” in the affair.

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CRIME

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.

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