The infamous Monsieur Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) is back home.
Although he should feel safer in France than he reportedly felt while in the United States, he decided to stack the deck in his favor—again—by granting an interview conducted by his wife’s colleague and friend, Claire Chazel.
The interview was short on actual facts but still interesting.
In that September 18 interview DSK provided no details of his vicious encounter with Nafissatou Diallo other than to say that it was “inappropriate” and “wrong” and that he regretted it. But then, when is an attack of this sort ever right or appropriate? In his own defense, he stated that there was no attack, no force and no money.
So, one is left with the only possible explanation: DSK as the great seducer whom no woman –regardless of her social or economic station– can resist even as she declines his advances. He claimed that he committed an “error” and his behavior was a “moral failure” but there was no criminal act involved. So, imagine his confusion and fear –he says– when he was detained by New York police.
He continued his pity party of one –two if his wife is still talking to him– as he asserted that he was “shocked” about the role that money played in the American judicial system. I bet he was. Between the security team he was forced to hire, the townhouse his wife had to rent at a greatly inflated price, and head-numbing attorneys’ fees, his costs were astronomical.
He probably thought that he had been—dare I say it—raped financially. But he should consider it a bargain. Since he was so fearful of the system, money –not charity– allowed him to avoid the dreaded jail cell while the District Attorney’s office mulled over what to do with him.
Moreover, money –not goodwill– bought his powerhouse lawyers who eventually gained his freedom. He didn’t walk away with a warning and a wink, as he probably expected, but he did walk away.
Ironically, as DSK continues to fashion himself into a “victim,” Diallo relinquishes the victim status as she becomes the defender of her own honor. News reports assert that there are those in her community who have marginalized Diallo because of the events of the last three months and because she is a woman, raising a daughter without husband or father.
Because of these circumstances she is called an unlucky woman. That attitude was manna for a man like DSK who counted on seemingly provincial notions of a woman from Africa. She would keep quiet because she would be blamed, by her own community, for her circumstances.
But luck has little to do with events to come.
Diallo has the ability to utilize a legal system historically used by men of power to codify sexist and racist behavior. The civil case against DSK could force him to divulge details of the encounter and, perhaps more importantly, shed light on his “imperfect past” –a term used by District Attorney Vance as it related to Diallo.
I speculate that we will discern a trend regarding DSK’s behavior toward women. For example, French journalist Tristane Banon has accused him of sexual assault. Under questioning by French police, he admitted to making a pass and then, after she rebuked his advances, trying to kiss her. Banon insists that it went much further than that. As was indicated earlier, the great seducer cannot take “no” for an answer.
In addition, DSK has called both women “liars” and maintained that there was no aggression or violence during either event. It was always consensual, at least in his mind.
As luck would have it, DSK is also being marginalized by his own people. He is, for now, a pariah among the French public and an embarrassment among the French elite because his actions were trumpeted on the world stage. One resident of his building referred to him as a “disgusting creature.”
His swagger is gone and his wife’s smile is looking a bit stale and forced these days.