Strauss-Kahn accused of sexual assault at Davos
The Local · 5 Jun 2013, 11:34
Published: 05 Jun 2013 11:34 GMT+02:00
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Italian journalist Myrta Merlino claims she was assaulted by Strauss-Kahn at the World Economic Forum in Davos more than a decade ago, French magazine Le Point reported on Wednesday.
Merlino, now aged 44, made the accusations in a YouTube interview with Italian journalist Klaus Davi.
She claimed Strauss-Kahn, known as DSK in France, sexually assaulted her in his swanky hotel suite on the fringes of the annual Davos event on an unspecified date in the “late 1990s”.
Merlino alleged that after luring her to his hotel suite with the promise of an interview, DSK demanded that the photographer who had been accompanying Merlino stay outside the room.
The journalist said she reluctantly agreed.
“I sat down in an armchair,” she recalled.
“He offered me a big glass of champagne, and we began talking about everything except for the interview,” said Merlino.
“Then DSK told me he adored journalists,” she said.
“I replied that his wife was a terrific woman and journalist,” she said, in reference to DSK’s then wife, French-American TV journalist Anne Sinclair, who divorced him earlier this year.
“Then I got up and, pushing me violently against the wall, he tried to kiss me,” said Merlino.
“I gave him a violent slap, I stormed off and with great difficulty, fled [from the room]” she added.
Merlino went on to say she was shocked by the assault and very angry about what she called the “psychological violence of a powerful man.”
For his part, DSK’s lawyer Richard Malka told Le Point, which first reported the story in the French media, that he was not “abreast of developments” and had no comment to make.
Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a French presidential contender, was accused of raping a chamber maid in New York City in 2011, although the criminal charge was dropped and he paid an undisclosed sume to settle a civil suit.
He remains under investigation in France for a prostitution case, allegedly involving sex workers procured for orgies he participated in.
Merlion’s claims come after DSK made something of a return to French public life recently, making a rare and unexpected appearance at the Cannes film festival two weeks ago.
DSK, 64, was accompanied on the red carpet by his new girlfriend, the Morocco-born French marketing executive Myriam l’Aouffir, 45.