Born in France in 1949, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as he became known, spent the early part of his career as an academic economist.
But with centre-left leanings he always took an interest in politics, and came to national prominence in the 1990’s.
He served as junior minister in the Mitterrand government and in 1997 Prime Minister Lionel Jospin made him Minister for Economics, Finance and Industry.
It was also in the mid 1990’s that he married his wife, Anne Sinclair, a famous TV journalist in France.
In 2007 DSK sought the nomination of the Socialist candidacy in the presidential election, calling for an anti-Sarkozy front. But he was unsuccessful and his defeat led him to resign from the the party’s national directorate later that year.
DSK worked hard to cultivate an anti-fat-cat image even as the head of the International Monetary Fund. But that image was somewhat shattered by photographs of him climbing into a 100 000 euro Porsche.
Despite older rivalries, in recent years he seems to have cultivated a cordial if not close relationship with President Sarkozy.
Some people had thought it looked certain that DSK would stand for the presidency next year, however if these latest allegations prove to be true that would be an extremely unlikely scenario.