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. Jeanette

    The French CIA is already deployed in New York, and the French SEALs are ready to liberate him. Both composed exclusively of young French women, disguised as French maids.

    May 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil

      impossible. these women would be recognised immediately. they look like real women, not like american ladies...

      May 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • harold balls

      yes, easily *recognized by their mustaches and hairy legs

      May 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceverik

      I'm writing from France. Be sure french won't send any CIA troups for this man. Please, keep him and don't think people here is supporting Strauss-Khan (we call him here DSK). Lots of french support the housemaid person. Do not believe what medias are writing. Just some politicians support this kind of man.

      May 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeanette

      DSK Studios Holywood, advertising: filming begins on Friday morning in Harlem. French maid uniforms and free lunch provided for participants.

      May 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rane

    how about you dont post a headline 'presidential hopeful' on an american-based website if its not an american presidential hopeful???? waste my time...

    May 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIZZ

      well you wasted even more time by writing that, so obviously your time isn't that important?

      May 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      The headline says "French presidential hopeful", you twit!

      May 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    let me guess...a reality show?

    May 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. che-3

    He should be asked to refund all money stolen from 3rd. World countries with huge interest whilst he lives in comfort on $3,000/night charged to 3rd. world countries. Do you know how many people can $3,000 feed in a whole day? Over 100,000 poor hungry souls in 3rd. world countries. Not only that $3,000/night, can buy over 5,000 school desks for schools in 3rd. world countries. Some people have no conscience. It’s a real shame to his race. Shame on him!

    May 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Oldie in TampaBay

    sounds to me like he is where he belongs ...

    May 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Merv

    the Seducer is about to become the Seduced - by one big black, mofo.

    May 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nourses

    Marvellous situation for the angel Sarkozy. Who has organized this pathetic story? French Government, US Cia, Germany ?

    May 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • che-3

      Oh please don't be this delusional and paranoid. What cave did you crawl out from? From Kabul?
      Your man is currently sitting in misery in a 11-foot x 13-foot cell at New York's Rikers Island jail complex. And there's nothing your evil delusional soul can do about it.
      Primitive idiotic caveman, pull another one from your caveman’s hat. Will ya?

      May 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • db501

      i also believe this whole thing is staged to make sure strauss-kahn does not get elected in france.

      May 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      It was orchestrated by Elvis, you know he's still alive, right? People need to face reality, however harsh it might be.

      May 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KIZZ

    Arrogance and wealth go hand in hand. I'm amazed that $3000 a night doesn't warrant some kind of "special favors". I bet that's what he was thinking too. How do you say "tossed salad" in french?

    May 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. seebofubar

    Typical socialist behavior. Remember how corrupt the USSR was? That's where liberalism, progressivism and socialism will lead us.

    May 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • che-3

      Trailer park toothless dummy; stay on the topic. Will ya? You're tripping.

      May 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Riff*Raff

    Judge much? Didnt anyone learn anything from the Duke case? Let's wait til the evidentiary hearing and see what the state's evidence is against this guy. Unless the DNA matches or the whole attack is on video, its her word against his. What happened to innocent til proven guilty? Jeesh

    May 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose Gonzalez

      Yes, "innocent until proven guilty". I wonder how many would say the same thing if this guy were a catholic priest? I

      May 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Elvis Smith in Studio City, CA

    IMF – International Maid Fondling

    May 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tague

      Elvis! Thanks, funny as hell. What goes around comes a West African gonna get his with Dick KS.

      May 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    1) He was denied bail.
    2) The plane was still at the airport, thus it is still NYPD's jurisdiction. It was not en route yet.
    3) Sitting in a plane does not mean doing IMF business. He would actually have been in Germany conducting the meeting for that.
    4) It is doubtful that the crime he is accused of would fall under doing business for the IMF, therefore diplomatic immunity would not be applied here.

    May 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. trex

    Bon jour, mon ami. Again, bon jour, mon ami. Very good class. Be back tomorow for your 3015th day of jail class french. DSK

    May 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. larry

    This case can't be compared to the lacrosse case for several reasons. 1. There never was any evidence in the lacrosse case it was always a he said she said case.
    2. In the lacrosse case that was the best opportunity the supposed victim had of going after an affluent family. This woman on the other hand had ample opportunity of going after anyone of wealth. Lest you forget that room rented for $3,000 a night only millionaires would have rented that room so she could've gone after any of them but she didn't. 3. The woman agreed to a forensic exam so there is a very high probability that there was semen and bruising on her arms. 4. Lastly, Kahn has a history of s*xual indiscretions.

    May 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roger

    The French are "furious" and "outraged" at DSK's treatment at the hands of the U.S. justice system. So far, so good! Love it when the French get angry, stamp their little feet and spit their Camembert.

    May 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
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