May 1 2012
– Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has claimed it is ‘normal’ for him to have sex with six different women at orgies.
The 63-year-old economist, accused of knowingly using vice girls in an alleged prostitution ring, also told magistrates his young conquests were not call girls and that he often had sex with women in their 20s.
The man once tipped as the next French president, gave the extraordinary explanation to magistrates probing claims he used £800-a-night prostitutes at swingers’ parties.
He has been charged with conspiring with pimps and of knowing fraudulently obtained money was being paid to the vice girls by the racket based in Lille, northern France.
In a hearing from March, the transcript of which has only been published today, a magistrate asks Mr Strauss-Khan: ‘Bearing in mind the high number of girls, their age and their behaviour, do you maintain you did not know they were prostitutes?’
‘I counted that there were six girls in total,’ Mr Strauss-Khan replied. ‘That does not seem to me to be a considerable number.’
The magistrate went on: ‘Do think that if they had not been paid, they would not have agreed to have sex with you on so many occasions, considering the age difference between you?’
Mr Strauss-Kahn answered: ‘Numerous young women with whom I’ve had sexual exchanges – no, that’s the wrong word – sexual relations, had the same age difference.’
The world’s former top banker went on to explain: ‘Swinging parties are about having free and consensual sex. Think what you like about it on a moral level, but no one was being paid.’
The 62-year-old has openly confessed to attending swingers parties in France and Belgium, but said he never knew the girls were prostitutes because ‘they were all naked at the time’.
His lawyer, Henri Leclerc, said: ‘At these parties, people were not dressed, and I defy you to tell the difference between a naked prostitute and any other naked woman.’
But Mr Strauss-Kahn’s claims come after five French and Belgian vice girls told police they were paid to have sex with the former bank chief.
One girl told detectives she attended 11 orgies with him over six years and added in her statement: ‘I got the feeling he liked rough sex.
Coming out of the woodwork: Five French and Belgian vice girls have told police they were paid to have sex with the former bank chief, seen here with his wife Anne Sinclair during a bail hearing in New York last year
Scandal: Last year Mr Strauss-Khan was charged with raping a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in New York. The charges were later dropped
Another prostitute named Marion, 30, also told investigators it was ‘rare to find men who showed as little respect for girls’ as Mr Strauss-Khan.
She added: ‘It was just pure sexual consumption, and these sessions often became bestial and violent.’
Mr Strauss-Kahn has been embroiled in a catalogue of sex scandals since he was accused of raping a hotel chambermaid in an upmarket New York hotel in May last year.
After being held in New York’s notorious Ryker’s Island prison, criminal charges were dropped and he returned to France only to face similar accusations of sexually abusing a young French writer.
When those allegations were also dropped, he was then confronted with more claims he used prostitutes supplied by the Lille vice network.
Police also uncovered texts sent between Mr Strauss-Kahn and men accused of hiring prostitutes for him, in which the economist referred to girls as ‘equipment’ and ‘bits of stuff’ as he arranged sex sessions around the world.
His lawyer Richard Malka has described him as a ‘simple swinger’ who committed nothing more than a ‘crime of lust’.
Mr Malka said he and his client would now do everything in their power to have the charges brought by two judges in Lille dismissed.
He said: ‘It is quite implausible and contrary to common sense to use terms like “organised gang” and “vice network” to describe a simple swinging activity.
‘Mr Strauss-Kahn is finding himself, in large part because of his fame, thrown to the wolves. And what a strange coincidence that all this should happen a month from a major national election.’
Coincidence? Mr Strauss-Khan’s lawyer Richard Malka, said it was a ‘strange coincidence’ that his client should be going through the case a month from a major national election now between Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) and François Hollande
Mr Strauss-Kahn had been widely tipped to stand as the socialist candidate in this month’s presidential election, with polls showing he would easily have beaten right-wing rival Nicolas Sarkozy.
This week he accused Britain’s Guardian newspaper of fabricating an ‘interview’ in which he is quoted as saying Sarkozy conspired to wreck his bid for the presidency.
While a furious Sarkozy threatened to sue, Mr Strauss-Kahn said the interview was simply a ‘montage’ of old quotes.
Mr Strauss-Kahn is now formally under ‘judicial control’ on £85,000 bail until judges decide whether to send him to stand trial, which means he cannot leave France and has to report to police regularly.
– Amy Oliver