The first sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is falling apart due to questions about his accuser's credibility, but his fortune may have changed again. French writer Tristane Banon has publicly accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, and says she plans to file charges tomorrow.
Shortly after we learned of the incident in Strauss-Kahn's Manhattan hotel room, Banon said that he assaulted her back in 2002. She went public with her story in 2007, but Strauss-Kahn's name was bleeped out. At the time she said that during an interview in his apartment, he asked to hold her hand then tried to rape her. She explained:
It finished very violently - as I told him clearly "No, No!" - and we finished up fighting on the floor. There wasn't just a couple of blows. I kicked him, and he tried to unclip my bra, to open my jeans.
Her mother urged her not to file a report, but now she plans to press charges. Naturally, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers are already calling her a liar, and say they're planning to sue her for slander, according to the Associated Press. They said in a statement:
"[Strauss-Kahn] has always said that the incident described by Ms Banon since 2007 is imaginary ... He notes that this complaint comes quite conveniently right at the moment when there is no longer the slightest doubt about the false nature of the accusations against him in the United States."
Though, it seems that Banon may have wisely chosen to wait until after the American case began unravelling. Her lawyer says she didn't want to press charges while the Manhattan incident was still being investigated because the two cases should be kept separate. Sadly, much like Strauss-Kahn's American accuser, Banon can probably expect to have the details of her personal life publicly examined, even if the only important question is whether or not the assault took place.