French prosecutors have dropped the investigation into Tristane Banon’s claim that former IFM chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her through a lack of proof.
According to prosecution, DSK admitted to sexual aggression against journalist and writer Tristane Banon, but that it was too late to prosecute for that charge because the incident happened in 2003.
Tristane Banon, 32, claims DSK attempted to rape her during an interview for a book, but he called the claim imaginary.
The prosecution decision comes after journalist Tristane Banon finished a fictional account of her ordeal, in which she referred to her alleged attacker as “the pig”.
“Eight years ago, the pig stole my life,” she wrote at the beginning of “Le Bal des Hypocrites” (“The Hypocrites’ Ball”).
The 62-year-old former IMF chief quit his job earlier this year after a New York hotel maid accused him of attempted rape. Prosecutors later dropped that case.
According to France law, the statute of limitations for attempted rape is 10 years and only three years for sexual assault.
French judges confirmed that the “sex acts” exchanged between DSK and Tristane Banon had taken place, and that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been unnecessarily violent.
“There is not enough evidence to pursue the attempted rape case after 10 years, but sexual aggression was recognized,” said a spokesman for the Paris prosecutors’ office.
Tristane Banon now intends to pursue her case against DSK through the civil courts, rather than the criminal courts.
She refers continually to the alleged crime in her 126-page book, but leaves out the name of DSK.
The tactic she used is a common one among French authors as they try to avoid libel charges relating to what they have written.
Despite this, publicity for the book makes it perfectly clear that the book is auto-biographical.
“With a dignity and sincerity that earns our full admiration, Tristane Banon tells the story of the six weeks that changed her life,” said a spokesman for publishers Diable Vauvert.
Tristane Banon first spoke out after DSK was arrested on charges of attempting to rape a maid at Sofitel Hotel in New York.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has always denied Tristane Banon’s allegations and is suing her for defamation, although he does admit kissing her and making a pass at her.
Referring to her lawyer, David Koubbi, in her book, Tristane Banon writes:
“I was offered lots of money to go on American TV to say I was making a complaint. I told David to tell them to get lost.”
The journalist claimed she was attacked while interviewing DSK in 2003, describing him as a “rutting chimpanzee”.
After four years, Tristane Banon said during a Paris TV talk show:
“We ended up fighting. It finished really violently. We fought on the floor.”
Dominique Strauss-Kahn could have received a prison sentence of up to 15 years if found guilty of attempted rape in France.