In his first TV interview since his arrest on sexual assault charges, Dominique Strauss-Kahn called his encounter with Nafissatou Diallo an "error," but said there was no violence or money involved.
According to Bloomberg, Strauss-Kahn told French network TF1, "What happened was more than an inappropriate relationship; it was an error. I regret it infinitely" (the translation in the Al Jazeera video above is slightly different). However, he said, his encounter with Diallo "involved no violence, no coercion, no aggression." He also says he didn't pay Diallo. Says Slate's Emily Yoffe,
In the reports of the interview on French TV, it doesn't sound as if his questioner (an old friend of Strauss-Kahn's wife) pressed him hard enough to explain what exactly did happen in the suite. If there was no force, and no money, are we to believe it was his continental charm that caused Diallo to get on her knees and relieve a stranger? If this interview was supposed to be his exoneration, he should cut short his explanation tour.
Strauss-Kahn also attacks Diallo's credibility, citing the prosecutors' report of inconsistencies in her story. This part of the interview is particularly distasteful, but Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland nonetheless calls the segment "a rhetorical tour de force." She adds, "Dominique Strauss-Kahn presented himself to the French public as a tragic hero brought down by a personal flaw." Protesters outside TF1 headquarters clearly don't agree — one particularly witty one carries a sign calling DSK "homo erectus erectus."
Strauss-Kahn Speaks [Slate]
Strauss-Kahn Says There Was No Violence In Maid Encounter [BusinessWeek]
Strauss-Kahn Laments Hotel Encounter [YouTube]