The French writer who alleges Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her said Thursday she wants to be brought face to face with the fallen IMF chief to dare him to tell her she's making it up.

"/> The French writer who alleges Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her said Thursday she wants to be brought face to face with the fallen IMF chief to dare him to tell her she's making it up.

" />


Rape claim writer wants to face Strauss-Kahn

The French writer who alleges Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her said Thursday she wants to be brought face to face with the fallen IMF chief to dare him to tell her she's making it up.

“The police asked me if I would accept the confrontation, I said of course I would,” Tristane Banon told RTL radio, as police pursue their investigation of the alleged 2003 attack in a Parisian flat.

“I want him to be in front of me and for him to look me in the eyes and tell me this is all in my imagination. I’d like to see him tell me that.”  

Socialist politician Strauss-Kahn, 62, has brought a defamation suit against Banon, 32, describing her claim as a figment of her imagination and slanderous.

Banon went to French police in July after Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York for allegedly trying to rape a hotel maid there. That case has since been thrown out after prosecutors deemed the alleged victim unreliable.

However, the former French presidential hopeful still faces a civil case in New York as well as the criminal investigation in Paris. Banon has said she will also bring a civil case if there is no criminal prosecution.

Without giving any names or saying whether she had given names to police, Banon repeated her allegation that other women who said they were victims of Strauss-Kahn had contacted her to voice support.

“They tell me that they were attacked by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and so they know that I’m telling the truth, well, they think so,” said Banon, admitting that it might appear “easy just to say there are women…”

But, the women concerned do not want to go public, she said.

“I think that if the case goes to an investigating magistrate and then to court, the plaintiffs will have the courage” to go to police, she said.

“As long as all they see is a kind of media war, where the plaintiff is being flayed in the press, I understand they don’t want to,” said Banon, who this week went on television to put her case, after Strauss-Kahn did the same.

“My fight is within the justice system and I would have liked it to stay just there (but) if the fight is going to be equal, one is forced to respond with the same weapons,” she said.

French police have already interviewed around 20 people as part of their high-profile investigation, including senior Socialist politicians. Once completed, the prosecutor will decide whether to bring a case or not.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn

The world is less well equipped to manage a major financial crisis today than it was a decade ago, according to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn
Former French Economy Minister and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn , poses during a photo session in Paris on Thursday. Photo: JOEL SAGET / AFP
In an interview with AFP, the now-disgraced Strauss-Kahn — who ran the fund at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown — also said rising populism across the world is a direct result of the crisis. 
Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF in 2011 after being accused of attempted rape in New York, although the charges were later dropped. He settled a subsequent civil suit, reportedly with more than $1.5 million.
Q: When did you become aware that a big crisis was brewing?
A: When I joined the IMF on Nov 1, 2007, it became clear quite quickly that things were not going well. That is why in January 2008, in Davos, I made a statement that made a bit of noise, asking for a global stimulus package worth two percent of each country's GDP. In April 2008, during the IMF's spring meetings, we released the figure of $1,000 billion that banks needed for their recapitalisation.
Q: Did the Bush administration grasp the danger of Lehman Brothers going bankrupt?
A: No, and that is why Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson decided not to save Lehman, because he wanted to make an example of it in the name of moral hazard. Like everybody else, he considerably underestimated the consequences. Allowing Lehman to go under was a serious mistake. Especially because only a week later they were forced to save the insurer AIG, which was much bigger.
Q: Ten years on, are we better equipped to deal with a crisis of such a magnitude?
A: No. We have made some progress, particularly in the area of banks' capital adequacy ratios. But that is not nearly enough. Imagine Deutsche Bank suddenly finding itself in difficulty. The eight percent of capital it has at its disposal are not going to be enough to solve the problem. The truth is that we are less well prepared now. Regulations are insufficient.
Q: How so?
A: After 2012-2013 we stopped talking about the need to regulate the economy, for example concerning the size of banks, or concerning rating agencies. We backtracked, which is why I am pessimistic about our preparedness. We have a non-thinking attitude towards globalisation and that does not yield positive results.
Q: Do we still have international coordination?
A: Coordination is mostly gone. Nobody plays that role anymore. Not the IMF and not the EU, and the United States president's policies are not helping. As a result, the mechanism that was created at the G20, which was very helpful because it involved emerging countries, has fallen apart. Ten years ago, governments accepted leaving that role to the IMF. I'm not sure it is able to play it today, but the future will tell.
Q: Do you believe that Donald Trump's election is a consequence of the crisis?
A: I believe so. I'm not saying that there was a single reason for Trump's election, but today's political situation is not unconnected to the crisis we lived through, both in the US with Trump and in Europe.
Q: Connected how?
A: One of the consequences of the crisis has been completely underestimated, in my opinion: the populism that is appearing everywhere is the direct outcome of the crisis and of the way that it was handled after 2011/2012, by favouring solutions that were going to increase inequalities.
Quantitative easing (by which central banks inject liquidity into the banking system) was useful and welcome. But it is a policy that is basically designed to bail out the financial system, and therefore serves the richest people on the planet.
When there's a fire, firemen intervene and there is water everywhere. But then you need to mop up, which we didn't do. And because this water flowed into the pockets of some, and not of everyone, there was a surge in inequality.
By AFP's Antonio Rodriguez