Hollande is one of around 10 people that Tristane Banon and her mother Anne Mansouret say they told about the alleged 2003 attack against Banon as she tried to interview Strauss-Kahn for a book.
Hollande is battling to stop the sexual assault allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn from derailing his campaign to win the party’s nomination for next year’s race.
Daily newspaper Le Figaro earlier revealed that police were also keen to talk to high-ranking Socialists, including Hollande, who was general secretary of the party at the time of the alleged rape attempt.
Investigators initially suggested the interview would take place in September, just one month before the elections to decide the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate. Hollande told Le Monde newspaper yesterday that he is ready now. “I am completely available. I have nothing to hide,” he said.
Hollande is currently the frontrunner in the race, but fears the ongoing investigation could damage his standing. He told a meeting in Dijon on Tuesday that he wouldn’t accept “the manipulation of an affair that has nothing to do with me or the party.”
He cited the example of the front cover of Le FIgaro on Tuesday which put a picture of him next to Tristane Banon. “We can see what newspapers can do,” he said.
Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, has claimed that she told Hollande about the incident but that he advised against taking it any further. Hollande has claimed not to have had detailed knowledge of the event.
The Socialist primaries will take place in October, with two rounds of voting on the 9th and the 16th. Nominations closed on July 13th and six candidates are known to have declared, including Hollande, current general secretary Martine Aubry and former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal.