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DSK accusers’ lawyers meet with prosecutor

Attorneys for the two women who have filed sexual assault charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn met on Tuesday with the team of the prosecutor for the New York case.

Kenneth Thompson, the attorney for a Guinean-born hotel maid who accused the ex-IMF chief on May 14, and David Koubbi, who represents French journalist Tristane Banon, were seen entering the office of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, US media reported.

The spokeswoman for District Attorney Cyrus Vance confirmed in an email to French reporters that Thompson and Koubbi met with members of his team. No details on the meeting were immediately given.

Thompson did not make any statement on the meeting.

In New York, Strauss-Kahn, who had been seen as a potential presidential standard bearer for his Socialist Party, faces seven charges in New York including attempted rape.

He was released from house arrest earlier this month after US prosecutors raised concerns about the credibility of the New York hotel chambermaid who accused him of sexual assault.

But the charges made by the Guinean woman have not been dismissed, and Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on August 1.

Meanwhile French police probing an attempted rape accusation against the ex-IMF chief questioned his daughter Camille, a friend of his alleged French victim, a judicial source said.

Police questioned the Socialist politician’s daughter and her mother, his ex-wife Brigitte Guillemette, on Friday over claims by French writer Tristane Banon that he tried to rape her in 2003, said the source, who asked not to be named.

Guillemette is Banon’s godmother and Camille Strauss-Kahn was a friend of Banon, now 32, at the time of the alleged attack, which Banon says took place as she tried to interview Dominique Strauss-Kahn for a book.

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FASHION

French designer refuses to dress Melania Trump

There's no doubt which side the fashion world supported during the US presidential campaign.

French designer refuses to dress Melania Trump
New York-based French designer Sophie Theallet dressed Michelle Obama but will not dress Melania Trump. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP
For years, First Lady Michelle Obama and Democrats' vanquished presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have been favourites with fashion designers who dressed them in clothes aimed at evoking their values.
   
But New York-based French designer Sophie Theallet has gone a step further, throwing down the gauntlet by refusing to dress future first lady Melania Trump because of the political views of her husband, President-elect Donald Trump.
   
Theallet is urging other designers to follow her lead.
 
“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next first lady,” she wrote in an open letter published Thursday.
   
“The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband's presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”    
 
“I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics,” Theallet added. “That said, as a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money.”
   
The letter has prompted a flood of reaction on social media, much of it negative.
   
Theallet, 52, who has worked in the United States for more than fifteen years, is a regular fixture at New York's fashion week.    
 
Her feminine designs have appealed to Michelle Obama, who provided welcome publicity by donning several of her dresses since 2009.
 
“She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide,” Theallet wrote of the current first lady, indicating purpose behind Obama's fashion choices.
   
“Her values, actions and grace have always resonated deeply within me.”