French woman Tristane Banon is to press attempted rape charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
She was a young writer when she attempted to interview the then French finance minister in 2003. He was a family friend; it did not stop him behaving, she says, like a “rutting chimpanzee”.
“I couldn’t care less what people are going to think in the hours and days to come. We’ve had as many insults as messages of support. Tristane’s been insulted by those who said that if she lived through what she claims she should have filed a complaint, but now those who insulted her are apologising,” said her lawyer David Koubbi.
Banon’s mother is a local Socialist party official, and she talked her daughter out of taking any action at the time because, she says, it would have caused unnecessary grief to all concerned, and she got Strauss-Kahn to apologise.
But France has been swept by a wave of feminist indignation at the sexism rife in public life since the DSK affair exploded. The change in climate has already led to one minister, George Tron having to resign and face criminal charges for sexual aggression. Now Strauss-Kahn may follow him through the French courts.