A lurid book detailing the relationship between a French lawyer and Dominique Strauss-Kahn is as revealing of the author’s motivations as it is of the disgraced former IMF chief's sex life.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn “is half man, half pig”, according to a former lover who has detailed their seven-month relationship in a kiss-and-tell book to be released next week.
The Nouvel Observateur front cover
Extracts of “Belle et Bête” – which can be translated as “Beauty and the Beast” or “Beautiful and Stupid” – were published in respected weekly news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur Thursday, alongside an exclusive interview with author Marcela Iacub, a lawyer and newspaper columnist.
Strauss-Kahn, known in France by his initials DSK and once billed as a possible Socialist candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, is described as unfeeling, selfish and sexually obsessed, “an artist of the sewers, a poet of abasement and filth”.
But these are the very traits that appealed to Iacub, who started her seven-month relationship with DSK in 2012, a year after he was infamously accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid at the New York Sofitel.
“You have had a long list of sexual conquests ... of mostly vulgar and unattractive women,” she wrote in the style of an open letter to her former lover. “It is one of the authentic and wonderful traits of the true pig, a form of generosity that you show to all women prepared to receive you.”
In her interview with the left-wing magazine, she explained the concept of “the pig” using the example of uninhibited group sex: “Group sex is the pig’s ideal; anyone can do whatever they like whenever they want. Group sex offers the promise that the act isn’t just between two people, it’s something for everyone.
“And while DSK has always struck me as a conservative type, it’s this sexual communism to which he aspires, as a pig, which absolutely thrills me.”
And it was the thrill, she said, that led her to embellish elements of her account with details that she freely admitted were not wholly accurate.
“The stages of the relationship and what was said are all true,” she told the magazine. “But for the sex scenes I was obliged to dig into the realms of fantasy.
“But if they are made-up in purely factual terms, they are true in psychological, emotional and intellectual terms. By using fantasy, I was able to recount events whose actual description would otherwise have been too sordid, pathetic and mundane. Sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth.”
Love and hate
Iacub told Le Nouvel Observateur she had considered three possible motives for starting a relationship with Strauss Kahn at a time when the French press was relentlessly detailing allegations of his involvement in orgies and prostitution rings.
“Firstly, I wanted to put myself in a position to write a book ... as a sort of reportage,” she said. “And to really get to know someone, you have to love them.
“The second hypothesis is that I saw myself as a saint who wanted to save him. I feel obliged to rescue people who are hated and despised. So Strauss-Kahn was the ideal person; I wanted to save him from his hell. And to save someone, you have to love them.”
Her third hypothesis is possibly the most revealing: “Before meeting him, I was very depressed, and I understand now that back then I wanted to die.
“I figured that with such an egotistical, unfeeling man who had hurt so many people, I would find the instrument of my own destruction. In this sense, I used him as much as he used me.
“But it was madness ... I still don’t really know why I did it.”
Strauss-Kahn, unsurprisingly, was not amused Thursday by news of the book’s publication and that the highly respected left-leaning news magazine had chosen to publish excerpts.
“I am doubly disgusted,” he wrote to Le Nouvel Observateur editor Jean Daniel. “Disgusted that a woman would seduce a man with the sole intention of writing a book about it, of feigning love for financial gain, for selling her story through a press she has always been critical of.
“But I am all the more disgusted by the Nouvel Observateur, a publication that is obviously worried about declining readership. Now we understand why. What used to be France’s great publication of the left-wing conscience has sullied itself with this nauseating story."
“My lawyers will be studying all legal means to fight this abomination,” Strauss-Kahn wrote.
Date created : 2013-02-21