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DSK: 'I only had sex orgies a few times a year'

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DSK: 'I only had sex orgies a few times a year'
An artist's impression of DSK on trial. Photo: AFP
10:52 CET+01:00
Former prostitutes shared sordid sex stories at the trial of disgraced ex-IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who took the stand for the first time on Tuesday as he admitted to judges he had orgies a few times a year, but had no idea they involved sex workers.
Key points from the day:
 
- Topless Femen protesters interrupt DSK's arrival
- DSK denies committing any crime
- He's Accused of "aggravated group pimping"
- strauss-Kahn denies knowing that the women were prostitutes
- One former prostitute said lewd sex act left her in tears
 
 
6.00pm: DSK's day in the dock:
 
Only just tuning in? Scroll down for a selection of the best tweets, pics, and quotes from the day, but in short - here is a wrap that's just come in from the AFP news agency.
 
Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday denied knowing the women he had orgies with were prostitutes and said paying for sex would be too great a risk for a man who was busy "saving the world."
   
The former International Monetary Fund chief took the stand for the first time on charges of "aggravated pimping" in an alleged prostitution ring, in a day of high drama as a former sex worker described her tears and pain when he performed anal sex with her. 
 
Dressed in a dark suit, the silver-haired economist once tipped for the French presidency denied having a "frenetic" programme of sex parties at a time when the IMF he headed up was "saving the world from an unprecedented" financial crisis, adding they only took place four times a year.
   
He told the court in the northern French city of Lille that he would never have attended the sex soirees in Paris, Brussels and Washington if he knew the women were paid to be there.
   
"I am horrified at the practice of using prostitutes," he said.
 
Strauss-Kahn admits being a libertine and said that while he accepted the risk of unusual sexual practices for a man of his stature, he would not have taken the risk of paying prostitutes who would be susceptible to "pressures."
 
The 65-year-old finds himself back in the dock four years after his high-flying career and presidential prospects were torpedoed when he was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid.
 
Legality, not morality
 
The crux of the case against him is whether he was aware the women were paid by members of his entourage and whether he played a role in organising the parties, which he also denied.
 
"I committed no crime, no offence," Strauss-Kahn said in a letter read out to the court by head judge Bernard Lemaire.
 
Asked to define a libertine party, Strauss-Kahn said it was when men and women "came together for the pleasure of sex" and what he liked was the "party atmosphere" of such soirees.
 
Some of the prostitutes had described the evenings as sexual "carnage" that had nothing to do with a typical swingers party.
 
Strauss-Kahn's close friend, businessman Fabrice Paszkowski who is accused of financing and organising the parties, said he never told the former IMF chief he had paid the women to attend.
 
Sordid details emerged nonetheless, with one former prostitute, Mounia, saying Strauss-Kahn had forced her to commit a sexual act which was "against nature" during a party at a chic Parisian hotel.
 
"I think he realised (I didn't want to do it)," she said.
 
"I was crying, I was in pain," said Mounia, adding that she went along with it because she needed the money.
 
Strauss-Kahn strongly denied this, saying her tears would have "chilled" him.
 
However in a coup for the defence, Mounia said no question of money or fees for her services were raised with Strauss-Kahn.
 
Prostitution is legal in France but procuring -- the legal term for pimping which includes encouraging, benefiting from or organising prostitution -- is a crime.
 
 

(An artist's impression of DSK on trial. Photo: AFP)
 
5.56pm:
 
More reaction from the Twittersphere.
 
 
5:01pm:
 
The second ex-prostitute, Jade, has got straight into the details of the sex romps with DSK.
4.54pm:
 
After another break, the court is back at it. A second ex-prostitute is taking the stand after some rather intriguing comments from DSK:
 
 
4.49pm:
 
Another report has just come through from the AFP news agency, which has a journalist on the scene. Here are the highlights:
 
When asked to define a libertine party, Strauss-Kahn said it was when men and women "came together for the pleasure of sex" and what he liked was the "party atmosphere" of such soirées.
   
However, some of the prostitutes described the evenings as sexual "carnage" that had nothing to do with a typical swingers party.
 
DSK maintained that he didn't know the women were sex workers, claiming he was "horrified at the practice of using prostitutes.
 
He did admit, however, to being a libertine and said that while he accepted the risk of unusual sexual practices for a man of his stature, he would not have taken the risk of paying prostitutes who would be susceptible to "pressures."
   
The 65-year-old faces 10 years in prison if found guilty of procuring prostitutes as he finds himself back in the dock four years after his high-flying career and presidential prospects were torpedoed when he was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid.


4.17pm:
 
It's no doubt been a long day for all involved:
 
4.04pm:
 
More pictures coming through today from the Femen protest at the trial today
 
3.56pm:
 
Let's take some time to revisit one of the other main characters of this trial - Dodo the Pimp.
 
 
He is at the centre of the group pimping allegations, but last night denied that he was a pimp at all. But who is he? And why is he called Dodo the Pimp? And is it true he got his teeth whitened for the trial? All these questions are answered here, in  the ten things you need to know about Dodo the Pimp.
 
3.27pm:
 
Unsurprisingly, the case has been making headlines abroad. Here's how the BBC, the Financial Times, and The Guardian respectively have approached the trial.
 





Many international media outlets have focused on the former prostitute, Mounia. She was left in tears as she recounted how DSK allegedly smiled during anal sex with her. She said that while she didn't verbally say "no", her gestures should have made it clear that she wanted him to stop.  
 
"It was brutal but consensual until the end because I needed the money," she said. "He saw that it was not what I wanted. I cried."
 
Strauss-Kahn reportedly lowered his eyes and talked with his lawyers during the ex-sex workers testimony. The woman was reportedly paid €900 for her time, but admitted that the financial transaction occurred in a taxi on the way home from the hotel, and not in front of DSK - who maintains that he had no knowledge that the women were prostitutes.
 
Prostitution is legal in France, but supplying or assisting in supplying them for sex is against the law.
 
2:42pm:

Photography and recording has been banned inside the courtroom, but cartoonist Francois Boucq is on the scene. 
 
2:34pm: 
 
"I am in no way the organizer of these parties," DSK said in a letter read to the court. "I did not have the time to organize any party."
 
“I had other things to do. [I was] saving the world... I had political ambitions."

Journalists on the scene tweeted that the Frenchman added that visiting a normal sex club would be "too risky" for a man of his stature. 
 
 
2.09pm:
 
And they're back in the courtroom again. DSK has taken the stand and has already set French social media buzzing after he said that he never organized the orgies, rather that he was always "a guest" of his friend Fabrice Paszkowski.
1.31pm:
 
Here's part of a round-up put out by news agency AFP after this morning's session:
 
Former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has denied knowing the women he took part in sex parties with were prostitutes, as he took the stand at his French trial on charges of aggravated pimping.
   
"I committed no crime, no offence," Strauss-Kahn said in a letter read out to the court by the judge in the northern city of Lille.
   
He also said from the witness stand that the sex parties he attended were few and far between, and that there was none of the "wild activity" of which he is accused.
   
Asked by lead judge Bernard Lemaire if he was aware the women at the parties were prostitutes -- the crux of the case against him -- Strauss-Kahn responded "no".
 
The 65-year-old former finance minister, known as DSK in France, argues he is merely a libertine who engaged in orgies with consenting adults and did not know the women lavishing their attention on him were paid.
 

(An artist's sketch of proceedings. Photography has been banned. Photo: AFP)
   
Dressed in a dark navy suit, Strauss-Kahn then sat arms folded, occasionally sighing heavily as one of the prostitutes, known as Mounia, took the stand to testify against him, revealing sordid details of the soirees.
   
Now retired, Mounia broke into tears several times as she recounted one of the nights with Strauss-Kahn in a Parisian hotel, saying she had been forced to commit a sexual act which was "against nature".
   
"I think he realised" I didn't want to do it. "I was crying, I was in pain," said Mounia, adding that she went along with it because she needed the money.
   
However she said that no question of money, or fees for her services were raised with Strauss-Kahn.
   
Mounia said that while she was dressed in a rather "classic" fashion, the other prostitutes were clad more provocatively, which would indicate their profession.
 
12:37pm:
 
The AFP's Fran Blandy tweets that the morning session was "grueling" but that now they're all off to lunch. So are we. Tune back in after 2pm to keep up to date with the latest.
 
12:05pm:
 
Testimony of escort girl "F", who was also present during the night at Murano, is read aloud in court. She says DSK was "very attentive" and "never brutal", reports BFMTV. She said it "wasn't clear that the girls were prostitutes".
 
11:53am:
 
Strauss-Kahn denies knowing that the women at the sex parties were prostitutes. When he was asked by the judge if he had "changed his mind" on his claim that he did not know the women were sex workers -- a keystone of his defence case -- Strauss-Kahn replied: "No".
 
Ex prostitute Mounia made it clear that her line of work was no secret. 
11:29am:
11:25am:
 
The case is making waves on social media in France and abroad. Here are a few comments from Twitter:
 

11:17am:

Now, ex-prostitute Mounia is taking the stand. 
 
11:15am:
 
11:10am:
 
DSK claims that his reputation has been tarnished and that people are making him out to be some kind of sex fanatic. He said that the parties were rare, and only happened three or four times a year. Reporters on the scene give the impression that the Frenchman is tired and worn out. 
 
11:02am: 
 
Strauss-Kahn denies committing any crime.  "I committed no crime, no offence," he said in a letter read out to the court.
 

(DSK will take the stand at a trial in Lille on Tuesday. Photo: AFP)
 
10.50am:
 
Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of "aggravated pimping" for his role in a prostitution ring, takes the stand.
   
Dressed in a dark navy suit, the 65-year-old appeared tense as he stood, hands folded on top of the stone, triangular podium as the main judge began by questioning him about his career.


(DSK arrives in court on Tuesday. Photo: AFP)

The spotlight swings onto the 65-year-old in the second week of the trial in the northern city of Lille which involves 13 other accused, including police, a lawyer, a prostitute and a brothel owner known as "Dodo the Pimp".

Strauss-Kahn will have three days to fend off accusations that he organised for prostitutes to attend sex parties in Paris, Brussels and Washington. He will be face-to-face with two of these women, now retired sex workers, in court.

The former finance minister, known as DSK in France, is expected to argue he is merely a libertine who engaged in orgies with consenting adults and did not know the women lavishing their attention on him were prostitutes.

(AFP's Fran Blandy is live tweeting from the courthouse in Lille. Follow her below)

Strauss-Kahn attended the first day of the trial -- luring some 300 journalists to the court -- but his name has only been mentioned in passing by the judge, as French court rules forbid defendants from mentioning anyone not in the room.

An ex-prostitute, Mounia, said Monday she was specifically chosen for DSK by one of the businessmen who threw parties for him.

"The sexual relation that you were to have was with Dominique Strauss-Kahn?" asked Bernard Lemaire, the chief of the four judges overseeing the three-week jury-less trial.

"Yes," said Mounia, adding that the businessman, David Roquet, "told me he came to see if I would please this man".

Mounia and another prostitute, known as "Jade", are expected to testify that Strauss-Kahn would be "naive" to have not realised they were professionals.

Court 'not guardian of morals'

The trial is the latest in a series of cases offering a peek behind the bedroom door of a man once tipped as a potential challenger to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

France was stunned when it saw Strauss-Kahn paraded handcuffed in front of the world's cameras after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault in May 2011 -- a case that was eventually settled in a civil suit.

Just six months later his name cropped up in an investigation into an alleged vice ring in which the managers and publicist of the luxury Carlton hotel in Lille organised lunchtime sex parties with prostitutes for their friends.

The first section of the trial focused on the so-called "Carlton Affair".

Tears, amusement, and sordid details marked the testimony of key members of the alleged Carlton vice ring -- hotel publicist Rene Kojfer and brothel owner Dominique Alderweireld, known as "Dodo the Pimp" -- and the prostitutes who worked for them.

READ ALSO: Ten things you need to know about Dodo the Pimp

Lemaire said at the opening of the trial that "the court is not the guardian of morals but of the law and its proper application".

While Strauss-Kahn says he never set foot in the Carlton, and denies knowing the two men, it is they who allegedly provided prostitutes -- including "Jade" -- to his entourage who threw the sex parties for him.

King of the party?

The charge of "aggravated pimping in an organised group" has been leveled against Strauss-Kahn and these friends, two businessmen and an ex-police commissioner.

Prostitution is legal in France but procuring -- the legal term for pimping which includes encouraging, benefiting from or organising prostitution -- is a crime.

Judicial sources say Strauss-Kahn was "the king of the party" and that the orgies were organised around his schedule, with his mere presence giving rise to prostitution.

"In these circumstances one isn't always clothed, and I challenge you to tell the difference between a prostitute naked and any other woman naked," Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Henri Leclerc, 84, said in 2011.

The economist is facing 10 years in prison and a fine of up to €1.5 million ($1.7 million).

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