I don’t have any answers or even any speculation on this subject–except to note that I found it really jarring last night when the local TV news headlined the story as a “sex scandal.” A sex scandal is when you have sex with an intern in the Oval Office, or when you sleep with your chief of staff’s wife and borrow money from your parents to buy their silence. A sex scandal is when a married governor disappears for a week to spend time with his South American girlfriend or hires a high-priced call girl to visit his hotel room when he’s out of town, when a married congressman posts shirtless pictures of himself on dating sites, or a senator is arrested for taking a wide stance in a public restroom. *
Ripping the clothes off a hotel cleaning lady and forcing her to have oral sex with you is rape–and not one of those murky allegations of rape that revolves around a potentially ambiguous definition of consensuality. If it’s true, the DSK story isn’t a “sex scandal” at all–it’s a violent crime.
I’ve been reading in the Telegraph about how just a few weeks ago Strauss-Kahn told an interviewer from Liberation that he was expecting something like this to happen, alluding darkly to “a woman that he would have raped in a parking lot and to whom half a million or a million euros would be promised to make up such a story.”
A honey trap is one thing–blackmailers pay prostitutes to tempt men into bed all the time, especially when their target is as notorious a wolf as Strauss-Kahn–but did he really think that his Achilles heel was rape? What does that say about him? If the hotel maid–a 32-year-old African immigrant, according to what I’ve been able to glean from the papers–was paid to make up her story by Strauss-Kahn’s political enemies, I hope they paid her an awful lot, because she’s going to be dragged through the dirt.
In that same Liberation interview, Strauss-Kahn talked about the political problems that his “Judaicity” posed. I imagine I’ll be hearing more about that one in the Comments section of this site.
*I should have added, when a recently separated ex-governor admits to fathering a child with a long-time family employee.