Dominique Strauss-Kahn: What's next for the jailed French presidential hopeful?
International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in federal court Monday.
May 17th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: What's next for the jailed French presidential hopeful?

For the head of the powerful International Monetary Fund, and presumptive front-runner for the presidency of France, the next few days and weeks likely will bring dramatic change and impact his life both professionally and personally.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had been scheduled to have talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and was preparing to be a leading figure in sessions addressing economic crises in Greece, Portugal and Ireland before his arrest, will now be somewhere very different: in an 11-by-13-foot cell at New York's Rikers Island jail complex.

He's a man known for his economic prowess, but also as "a great seducer" - a politician whose relationships with women have landed him in trouble.

And as he sits in jail, instead of preparing to lead France's Socialist Party against Nicolas Sarkozy next year, he will be defending himself against charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and sexual abuse.

The man known for helping bail out desperate countries in need of cash allegedly spent $3,000 a night for a luxury suite where he is accused of chasing a housekeeping employee down a hallway and sexually assaulting her. Read the criminal complaint (contains graphic language) (PDF)

With court appearances on the horizon, CNN is taking a look at what's next for Strauss-Kahn and what the political, financial and legal ramifications will be.


When New York police detained Strauss-Kahn for questioning on sexual assault charges last weekend, he called on the same lawyer as Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Sean "Diddy" Combs and other A-listers who faced criminal charges.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who said the case has a long way to go, called lawyer Ben Brafman "the single best courtroom attorney I've ever seen."

Since there's a lot riding on the early stages of the investigation and arrest, Strauss-Kahn likely wanted the high-profile lawyer in his corner to help him with his defense and his image.

"Many of my clients are good people who have gone astray and broken the law," Brafman said in an interview with education website

Linda Fairstein, former head of the Manhattan District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit, told CNN that as Strauss-Kahn sits in a jail cell, investigators will be examining evidence and talking to the woman who reported the allegation.

Fairstein said investigators will be looking at what the victim's emotional and physical condition was after the alleged crime was reported, any video tapes in the hotels to check on the victim and Strauss-Kahn's version of events and whether there were body fluids left behind to show proof of an assault. Much time will likely be spent interviewing the victim, Fairstein said, because "the case cannot proceed without her."

Fairstein spoke with about how the case will proceed, what the charges against Strauss-Kahn mean and what is expected to unfold in the courtroom.


Strauss-Kahn's arrest dominated the front pages of France's newspapers, with most focusing on the likely damage to his political career - some calling for a timeout, others calling it game over. takes a look at whether the few minutes it took for the scandal to erupt could have killed Strauss-Kahn's hopes of a presidential bid and how as a result of the arrest the entire presidential race in France has been thrown into chaos.

But some in France also worry how the scandal may be portrayed.

"In the coming days, a flood of headlines and old clichés about French people being cowardly and depraved will probably come up," an article in French newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur and posted by in English says.


"The biggest short-term impact of Strauss-Kahn's arrest will likely be felt in the euro zone," Michael Schuman wrote in a piece. "Strauss-Kahn has been a key player in the often fractious attempts by Europe's leaders to resolve the zone's debt crisis, and his sudden absence will likely add more confusion to the debates over how to handle Greece."

But that's not to say that even if Strauss-Kahn had been available there would have been an easy fix. And additionally, Schuman argues his absence raises more important "fundamental questions about that institution's role in the global economy."

Still the EU bailout is no doubt in some jeopardy, merely because of the arrest and what it means for who will be there to make things work, Fortune's Colin Barr writes.

Barr notes that with the head man sitting in jail, and the No. 2 man leaving in August, for the IMF the impact will definitely be in how it will lead moving forward and who it will trust to do so.

"The bigger impact of Saturday's alleged incident lies in the shift of economic leadership from the debt-soaked West to the emerging East – an accelerating trend that is almost certain to manifest itself in who gets chosen to pick up the pieces left by Strauss-Kahn.

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Filed under: Crime • Economy • Finance • France
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. publius enigma

    He goes to court friday and presumably the prosecution will have to convince the judge that a crime was committed and they have enough evidence to warrant a trial.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. everyone

    She could have parlayed whatever 'relationship' she allegedly had for a lifetime of comfort and luxury for herself and her family. Instead . . . she is an an imbecile.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • everyone

      Either that or it's another set-up. Powerful people have powerful enemies

      May 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      It's not over. She could refuse to testify, or weaken her testimony when called before the jury, or even admit she tried to set him up for purposes of extortion (even if she didn't). She could spend a little time in jail and retire to a lifetime of luxury...

      May 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • che-3

      You sound like the daughter or blood relative of this evil, demonic monster, aka Dominique Strauss-Kahn. You call the victim of his demonic evil actions names? You’re as evil and sick as your blood relative and demonic monster; Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Eat your heart out. Your evil demonic monster; Dominique Strauss-Kahn is sitting in American Jail and there's nothing you can do about it. Keep being this delusional and in denial. Time has caught up very well with him. You have some nerves to demean the victim. You have no soul. I might add! Have your freaking head examined.

      May 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Dimension Machine

    all at the sensational book With Unbelievable revelations at ww TheDimensionMachine DOT com

    May 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roma

    Life changes in a jiffy. To do that, need to be wrong head. All we are responsable four ours actions.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    You're talking about blackmail? Isn't that just as illegal as what he was trying to do? I don't think *she's* the imbecile.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jj

    this poor woman got s.x. ually assulted. what the heck is wrong with you people

    May 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garmac

      You solved the case, why don't you replace the judge and sentence him right now while you're at it...

      May 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bender

      She just hit the jackpot.

      Let's see ... being dragged by court and legally assaulted by the most ruthless lawyers on the planet or ... millions and millions in hush money ... HMMMMM????

      May 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boheme

      Sounds you solved the case already, based on massmedia feed. Probably would also jump out of ten-storey window if massmedia told you so..

      May 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • che-3

      Boheme; you're trying to hard to be such a delusional backward idiot.
      You have an IQ the shoe size of a midget. Evil soul. Deal with it.

      May 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indy Dr.Jones

      Considering what I've seen the corporate media lie or misrepresent I'm comfortable with not jumping to any conclusions. We all know some men are pigs, but some women also play games and lie, so a wise person shouldn't base their opinions on an article written for profit by someone else.

      May 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    He's a piece of crap......

    May 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boheme

      Talking to a mirror?

      May 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • che-3

      Boheme, he's talking to your evil, demonic monster aka, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Do you by chance come from the same demonic evil bloodline? You impotent backward midget. This is the 21st. century, dummy! Not only that, your evil, demonic monster aka, Dominique Strauss-Kahn looks like Lucifer in hand caps. LOL!

      May 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TimSpencer

    It's pretty clear that Mr. Strauss-Kahn does not have immunity for the violent crime he is being accused of.

    However., he has not been removed/fired from his job. According to the IMF, the job affords him immunity as long as he is acting in official IMF capacity.

    Based on that, I have two points to make:

    (1) when Mr. Strauss-Kahn was on the Air France jet, he was heading to Europe for a meeting with the German chancellor to discuss official IMF business. As such, he was flying on official IMF business, which means he should have immunity as soon
    as he checks in for his flight. That being the case, did NYPD detective have legal jurisdiction to take him into custody? Unless
    the NYPD commisioner had contacted the IMF and obtained their consent, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, as an IMF official flying on
    official business should not have been touched. Was he flying on "official business"??? This can easily be clearly up by
    finding out how the flight was paid for. If it was booked and paid for by IMF in order for him to fly to Europe to conduct official
    business, then he had immunity. I would argue that his detention was unlawful.

    (2) let's say the judge and/or prosecutors agree to a bail, what's to stop Mr. Strauss-Kahn from flying out of the US? Back to
    my point above. He can still travel on official IMF business and leave the US. US authorities(city/state/federal) does not have
    the right to hinder the movements of someone with immunity.

    (3) if the prosecutors want to a 100% guarantee that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will not skp bail, they should ask for bail that's equal to 99% of his(and his wife's) assest worldwide. Better yet, round-the-clock electronic monitoring and assign 2 or 3 police officers
    to tail him 24 hours a day, with all costs of monitoring & police overtime to be 100% paid by Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

    (4) innocent of proven guilty.... if the prosecutors can win the case legally, go right ahead. If not, set him free. Alternatively, if he is truly innocent of the charges, he should receive a full apology from everyone involved.


    May 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mr. stiffy

    This guys departure will give someone else a chance to weild power.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jj

    dear god: do criminal defense attourneys go straight to hell?

    May 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • everyone

      Quaint notion, and if there is such a 'place' some may, however, defense attorneys who exonerate innocent men and women do not.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bender

    Imagine the kind of phone calls being made around the economic kingpins of the world? Central banks, Treasury Secretary's, Heads of State ... the search for a way to ease this guy out of this jam must be incredible.

    In the end, I'd bet some dirtbag attorney will get to the victim and offer her some kind of multi million dollar, lifetime income to drop charges ... And no one will ever know what happened.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TimSpencer

    I'd like to know what the writers at "Law & Order: SVU" are doing right now....

    May 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 2Equals5?

    Hey, Tim Spencer, I have 2 points that mean 2, not 5 like your statement. 1- IMF folks don,t have diplomatic immunity do they? 2-Were lucky your not counting beans at the IMF!

    May 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. neoconpunk

    "Whats Next"? Really? How about jail? Dirtbag needs to get jail time. The commies in the EU are worried because they want him to be president of France. Now they have no one. This lady should make sure he gets convicted and THEN sue the pants off him (no pun intended). She can have her cake and eat it to. Grind him into the mud from whence he came.

    May 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    Dominique is in trouble, we?

    May 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Che-3

      Oui. My communist friend. 🙂

      May 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
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