Following the arrest in New York on sex assault charges of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of the attempted rape of a hotel chambermaid on May 15th, allegations surfaced in France of his involvement in previous incidents of sexual abuse.
Hours after his arrest, Anne Mansouret, a Socialist Party general and regional councilor in Normandy1, last Sunday revealed in several media interviews how she had persuaded her daughter, the writer Tristane Banon, now aged 31, not to lodge a formal complaint against Strauss-Kahn for an alleged sexual assault he made upon her in 2002. Banon claimed the attack, in which she said the two struggled on the floor as he tried to undress her against her will, happened in a Paris apartment to which she was invited by Strauss-Kahn after interviewing him for abook she was then preparing.
The allegations come amid growing controversy over Strauss-Kahn's behaviour towards women, dismissed by many within his party as that of a lady's man, but which others have suggested should have alerted attention and action.
Banon's lawyer announced earlier this week that she would be filing a complaint for the alleged sexual assault by Strauss-Kahn nine years ago. French news website Rue 89 on Sunday re-published a television interview she gave in 2007 in which she recounted the assault by politician whose name was concealed during the broadcast by an audio ‘bleep', and which she said occurred in 2002.
1: Anne Mansouret is an elected councillor from the Eure département (equivalent to a county), sitting on councils for the broader Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie) region of north France.