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Author Topic: Sex Life Was ‘Out of Step,’ Strauss-Kahn Says, but Not Illegal  (Read 2685 times)
BayGBM
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« on: October 15, 2012, 06:39:03 AM »

Sex Life Was ‘Out of Step,’ Strauss-Kahn Says, but Not Illegal
By DOREEN CARVAJAL

PARIS — More than a year after resigning in disgrace as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seeking redemption with a new consulting company, the lecture circuit and a uniquely French legal defense to settle a criminal inquiry that exposed his hidden life as a libertine.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 63, a silver-haired economist, is seeking to throw out criminal charges in an inquiry into ties to a prostitution ring in northern France with the legal argument that the authorities are unfairly trying to “criminalize lust.”

That defense and the investigation, which is facing a critical judicial hearing in late November, have offered a keyhole view into a clandestine practice in certain powerful circles of French society: secret soirees with lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians that start with a fine meal and end with naked guests and public sex with multiple partners.

In France, “Libertinage” has a long history in the culture, dating from a 16th-century religious sect of libertines. But the most perplexing question in the Strauss-Kahn affair is how a career politician with ambition to lead one of Europe’s most powerful nations was blinded to the possibility that his zest for sex parties could present a liability, or risk blackmail.

The exclusive orgies called “parties fines” — lavish Champagne affairs costing around $13,000 each — were organized as a roving international circuit from Paris to Washington by businessmen seeking to ingratiate themselves with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Some of that money, according to a lawyer for the main host, ultimately paid for prostitutes because of a shortage of women at the mixed soirees orchestrated largely for the benefit of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who sometimes sought sex with three or four women.

On Thursday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn broke a long silence to acknowledge that perhaps his double life as an unrestrained libertine was a little outré.

“I long thought that I could lead my life as I wanted,” he said in an interview with the French magazine Le Point. “And that includes free behavior between consenting adults. There are numerous parties that exist like this in Paris, and you would be surprised to encounter certain people. I was naïve.”

“I was too out of step with French society,” he added. “I was wrong.”

But whether his downfall will have a lasting impact on the culture of sexual privilege and impunity for powerful men in France remains uncertain. He declined to be interviewed for this article.

This month Mr. Strauss-Kahn won a major legal battle after a French prosecutor dropped part of the investigation into an alleged sexual assault at a hotel in Washington. A Belgian prostitute recanted her earlier accusation, saying the encounter was just rough sex play, but Mr. Strauss-Khan is still a suspect for involvement in a prostitution ring.

Buoyed by that first victory, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers predict he will triumph in France, where having sex with prostitutes is not illegal, although soliciting and pimping are.

In essence, they argue, there is nothing criminal about the sexual life of a libertine, according to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lead lawyer, Henri Leclerc.

That defense may not satisfy the charges in a New York civil lawsuit filed by Nafissatou Diallo, who accused Mr. Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault last year in a New York hotel where she was a chambermaid. Lawyers representing both sides deny there are financial negotiations under way.

“His travels will eventually bring him to a courthouse in the Bronx, where he will face justice,” Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer representing Ms. Diallo, said in an interview.

All of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s current legal woes in New York and France mixed together last year, with devastating results.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s name first surfaced in the French inquiry by chance, in May 2011. French investigators were tapping the telephones of Dominique Alderweireld, an owner of Belgian sex clubs who is also a suspect in the prostitution ring.

In one conversation between Mr. Alderweireld and a longtime childhood friend, René Kojfer, who worked at the Carlton Hotel in Lille, the men were gossiping about Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s recent New York arrest, according to lawyers involved in the case.

They then recalled a freewheeling luncheon in 2009 at a Paris restaurant called L’Aventure, and Mr. Kojfer discussed whether they could make money by offering information about that day to Ms. Diallo’s lawyer, Mr. Thompson, who was never called, the lawyers said.

At L’Aventure, Mr. Strauss-Kahn and a few friends gathered in a private basement club, carpeted in purple and black tiger stripes, with a female Belgian escort and Mr. Alderweireld’s companion, Béatrice Legrain, who recalled that lunch in an interview.

She said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, energized by Viagra, had sex with the escort and then followed Ms. Legrain to the bathroom, grabbing her and demanding sex. But she said she rebuffed him and it “wasn’t a big deal.” Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer declined to comment.

In his own interview, Mr. Alderweireld made light of the “petit” episode at L’Aventure. His lawyer, Sorin Margulis, took a more scornful view: “It’s more an act of Louis XIV.”

The investigation into the prostitution ring in Lille ultimately swept up 10 suspects, including Mr. Strauss-Kahn. They knew each other largely through their membership as French Freemasons, according to Karl Vandamme, a defense lawyer who represents Fabrice Paszkowski, the owner of a medical supply company who played a crucial role in organizing the sex parties... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/world/europe/dominique-strauss-kahn-says-lust-is-not-a-crime.html?hp


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Irongrip400
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 12:05:18 PM »

So, this is what Eyes Wide Shut was based on?
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BayGBM
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 12:30:37 PM »

I find the DSK story fascinating party because it is so different from the political lives in the US.  Americans are provincial when it comes to sexual matters in the public sphere; we gasp when a political figure is exposed for having an affair (though this is changing as the frequency of extra marital sex becomes more widely acknowledged). For better or worse it has always been commonplace... dating back to Thomas Jefferson.  But DSK and his buddies seem to have taken things to an extreme in the opposite direction: regular Viagra fueled orgies and a well earned reputation as a libertine romping with prostitutes.  And so much of it is public or widely known.  What happened to the good old days when one had affairs in secret?  Is discretion no longer valued in DSK’s world?

And what kind of woman marries (and stays married to a guy like this)?  When DSK was accused of raping that hotel maid his wife flew over from France to stand by his side through his legal drama and she even footed the bill for his defense (she reportedly demanded to be paid back once the criminal charges were dropped.  The Civil case continues...

More discrete versions of this happen in the USA of course.  Congress is filled with a long list of cheating men (Newt) and among all the married guys I know, I would be hard pressed to name one who has not had an affair (yet).

is it better or worse when when marriage vows are publicly flouted? Huh
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BayGBM
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 12:16:42 PM »

More on those zany sex parties
by Jon Carroll

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has finally come out of the closet or wherever it was - it was certain to be a nicely appointed location, in any event - and has spoken about his group-sex life. "I long thought that I could lead my life as I wanted," he said in an interview with the French magazine Le Point. "And that includes free behavior between consenting adults. There are numerous parties that exist like this in Paris, and you would be surprised to encounter certain people. I was naive. I was too out of step with French society. I was wrong."

So, one of those "Sorry you were offended by my offensive behavior, but I'm not actually all that sorry" apologies.

The news media have been playing up the continental aspect of this story. How very French, they seemed to be saying, for these sex parties to exist among powerful people. How very French of Strauss-Kahn to denounce his detractors for trying to "criminalize lust."

The word "libertine" was thrown around a great deal. It's a perfectly fair word, but you didn't see it spring up in discussions of, say, Tiger Woods' many indiscretions. "In France, 'Libertinage' has a long history in the culture, dating from a 16th-century religious sect of libertines," the New York Times primly informed us.

The Times also presented a tastefully pornographic overview of the proceedings. Quoting from a lawyer who had been a participant, it said: "There was a rhythm to the gatherings, with everyone dressed for a sit-down dinner, he said. Then over time, couples separated, 'kisses were exchanged between one woman and another and between a husband and the wife of a friend' until the guests 'all ended up nude.' "

When these details came out, there was viewing with alarm, I can tell you that. Much viewing, much alarm.

The idea that such social events can happen only among lip-trembling degenerates of the French upper classes is, well ... hey, I grew up in California. We have a pretty tolerant idea about what's OK between consenting adults in the privacy of the bedroom or dining room.

Things happened, as you know. Probably you heard about them or attended them. Things are probably still happening; I'm just at an age where I don't hear about them so much anymore. There are parties in which people become naked and things happen.

Everyone speaks English, and no one mentions 16th century religious sects.

Based on my adolescent fantasies, I thought I'd be an orgy kind of guy, but I'm not. I discovered this on assignment from Esquire, by the way, covering Sandstone, a New Age sex club in Topanga Canyon out near Malibu.

The Strauss-Kahns had at least one thing figured out - dinner first, then disrobing. At Sandstone we disrobed and, shortly thereafter, I was sitting on a couch with a plate of spaghetti in my lap. Informal buffet dining has never been a strong point of mine; nude informal buffet dining was right at the limits of my competence.

Oh, no, Jon, don't drop a piece of pasta there!

That's the night I found out that orgies were not really my thing. Perhaps I was doing it wrong, although everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves. Different strokes and all that. I mean no offense to my friends in the orgy-based community.

The difference between that congenial group of hedonists and the French version is that the Strauss-Kahn parties were used by the organizers to curry political favor with him. Also, prostitutes were involved - again, presumably for the benefit of Strauss-Kahn.

This is, one must say, not remotely surprising. Prostitution is as ancient a profession as there is, and it often happens within the orbit of rich and powerful men. For every Eliot Spitzer case that comes to light, I imagine there are hundreds of equally shocking, or not shocking, encounters involving wealthy older men.

As the French would tell you - well, they did tell us, or a lawyer for one of the party givers did. The Times quotes him: "Prostitution was more regulated before, but it was for a certain type of population. Today among all those women, there are occasional prostitutes, and sometimes they're top models who try to make ends meet. They aren't miserable women on the sidewalk."

Now, that's pretty darned French. Imagine an American lawyer making that statement. It's the whole 16th century thing, one imagines.

Eet eez only zee little thing, n'est-ce pas, that my friends and half of Europe are doing.
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