IMF head submits to DNA test in sex attack probe
He was alone when he checked into the Sofitel hotel near from Times Square, on Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn't clear why he was in New York. The IMF is based in Washington, and he had been due in Germany on Sunday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The maid was taken by police to a hospital and was treated for minor injuries. Stacy Royal, a spokeswoman for Sofitel, said the hotel's staff was cooperating in the investigation and that the maid "has been a satisfactory employee of the hotel for the past three years."
His wife, Anne Sinclair, defended him in a statement to French news agency AFP.
"I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established," said Sinclair, a New York-born journalist who hosted a popular weekly TV news broadcast in France in the 1980s and '90s.
The arrest could throw the long-divided Socialists back into disarray about who they could present as Sarkozy's opponent. Even some of his adversaries were stunned.
"It's totally hallucinating. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life," said Dominique Paille, a political rival to Strauss-Kahn on the center right, on BFM television. Still, he urged, "I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair."
Candidates need to announce their intentions this summer to run in fall primary elections.
"If he's cleared, he could return but if he is let off only after four or five months, he won't be able to run" because the campaign will be too far along, said Jerome Fourquet of the IFOP polling agency.
"I think his political career is over," Philippe Martinat, who wrote a book called "DSK-Sarkozy: The Duel," told The Associated Press. "Behind him he has other affairs ... I don't see very well how he can pick himself back up."
"It's sure that a future president already mired in judicial problems is not well seen by the French," said Patricia Bous, a lab researcher in Paris' Left Bank on Monday.
"It's obvious that this is someone a lot of people were counting on, and because of this all of the cards are being reshuffled. So I don't know what's going to happen, but for me there is a presumption of innocence and we await the proof so we'll see," said university employee Hubert Javaux, also in the Left Bank.
French newspapers all put Strauss-Kahn on their front pages Monday morning, with grim headlines and photos. "DSK Out" read the banner headline on the left-leaning Liberation. "The Doors of the Elysee Are Closing for DSK" read that in Le Soir.
The New York allegations come amid French media reports about Strauss-Kahn's lifestyle, including luxury cars and suits, that some have dubbed a smear campaign. Some French raised suspicions about the sexual assault case as well.
"Perhaps this affair will unravel very quickly, if we learn that there is in the end no serious charge and that what was said by this woman was not true, and we all wish for this," former Socialist Party boss Francois Hollande said on Canal-Plus television. "To commit an act of such seriousness, this does not resemble the man I know."
Sarkozy, who did not comment publicly Sunday, had championed Strauss-Kahn to run the IMF. Political strategists saw it as a way for Sarkozy to get a potential challenger far from the French limelight.
- no next page
- Dad Punishes Daughter with Free Babysitter Ad Play Video
- How to stop junk mail - forever
- Legit Work-from-Home Websites - and the Scams
- Terms to Never Use in Your Resume
- Bill Nye's Withered Romance
- Oprah Recants On 'Pieces' Play Video
- 'Sex And The City' Premieres Play Video
- Best Wheeled-Luggage for Your Budget