NEW YORK - Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from Rikers Island Friday, trading his prison cell for house arrest.
Strauss-Khan put up $1 million in cash and $5 million in insurance, and will pay for a $200,000-a-month security team with armed guards and electronic monitoring, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
He is staying at an apartment at 71 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. But that wasn't the original plan.
Strauss-Khan's wife, heiress Anne Sinclair, rented an apartment at Bristol Plaza on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Plaza bills itself as a luxurious short-term rental building with elegantly-furnished apartments, complete with marble baths, flat screen TVs, and maid service, reports CBS Station WCBS.
However, on Friday the Plaza turned down Sinclair when it was discovered Strauss-Kahn would be staying there.
Even though the address was never officially released, police and media converged on the building, the Bristol Plaza, a high-rise on East 65th Street. WCBS reports dozens of news crews set up behind metal barricades outside the high-rise on East 65th Street.
"Last night there was an effort by the media to invade the building," Strauss-Kahn attorney William Taylor told reporters Friday. "That is why the tenants in the building will not accept his living there."
While Strauss-Kahn's family had a lease and could have stayed, he decided to leave "out of respect for the residents."
Late in the day, after the snag over where the banker would serve his house arrest had been resolved, Strauss-Kahn was released from the city's Rikers Island jail on $1 million cash bail and moved to the landmark apartment building in a granite skyscraper, a person familiar with his housing arrangements told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Strauss-Kahn will be domiciled at the 21-story Empire Building, an apartment building on Broadway in Manhattan's Financial District, several blocks from ground zero, which rents two-bedroom apartments starting at $4,250 a month, with 9-foot ceilings, bay windows and walk-in closets.
Strauss-Kahn will have to wear an ankle bracelet, and he will be watched by at least one armed guard at all times. His apartment's exterior doors will be outfitted with alarms and video cameras, on orders from the judge who granted bail on charges Strauss-Kahn tried to rape a hotel maid.
Journalists set up in front of the Empire Building in Lower Manhattan, where former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan is being held under house arrest, May 21, 2011. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents of the building aren't too happy about their new neighbor, as they told WCBS correspondent Kristin Thorne. "Why is he here? Why in this building?" said one.
"I think it's going to be a lot of press, a lot of different negativity to the building," said another.
The 62-year-old former managing director of the powerful International Monetary Fund had been behind bars since last Saturday. He has denied the allegations.
Prosecutors had argued against Strauss-Kahn's release, warning he might use his wealth and international connections to flee to France and thwart efforts to extradite him, like Roman Polanski, the French filmmaker whom U.S. authorities pursued for decades after he jumped bail in a 1977 child sex case.
Strauss-Kahn cannot leave his temporary housing at all. Once he is settled somewhere permanent, he will be allowed to leave only for court dates, meetings with his lawyers, doctor's appointments and weekly religious services, and he will have to give prosecutors at last six hours' notice. No trial date has been set.
He is accused of attacking a 32-year-old housekeeper in his $3,000-a-night hotel suite. The West African immigrant told police he emerged naked from the bathroom, chased her down and forced her to perform oral sex.
On Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn resigned as managing director of the IMF, the powerful organization that makes emergency loans to countries in financial crisis.
In his resignation letter, he denied the allegations against him but said he would quit in order to "protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion" and to "devote all my strength, all my time and all my energy to proving my innocence."