DSK loses cool as he testifies for second day in pimping trial
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Disgraced former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn seemed to lose his cool for the first time in a trial in which he is accused of “aggravated pimping” as the court on Wednesday delved deeper into the details of his lurid “libertine” sex life.
"I am starting to get fed up," the silver-haired economist fumed at the end of a particularly gruelling cross-examination. “I am not on trial for deviant sexual practices."
Strauss-Kahn is charged with “aggravated pimping”, in that he and his co-defendants allegedly organised prostitutes to attend orgies in Belgium, France and also in Washington where he was based as IMF chief.
Strauss-Kahn’s activities as a sexual libertine – a term he has used in the trial to describe his sexual preferences – were the focus of Wednesday’s evidence.
‘Penetration without permission’
“Jade”, a woman in her 40s who told the court that she worked as both a prostitute and an exotic dancer in swingers clubs, said she had been hired to have sex with Strauss-Kahn on two occasions.
Describing herself as someone who has also engaged in “libertine” activities, she insisted that her interactions with Strauss-Kahn were as a prostitute who had been paid to have sex, a fact she said the former Socialist heavyweight would have been more than aware of.
Jade told the court of a first encounter in late 2009 at a Belgian swingers club that had been booked for an exclusive party which Strauss-Kahn was attending.
She told magistrates she had been paid 500 euros ahead of the event to have sex with him.
“It was like a butcher’s shop,” she said, describing “about 40 people, arms and legs all over the place, it was not something I could get involved in.”
After staying at the club for a few hours, she accompanied Strauss-Kahn and another woman – who was not identified in the trial – to a Brussels hotel for a threesome during which she said he sodomised her against her will.
"I experienced a penetration without my permission,” she said, choking back tears.
‘He treated me like a prostitute’
“If I was a libertine, I would at least have been asked if I wanted to do that," she continued, adding that she did not have time to protest and that because she had already been paid, she felt obliged to have sex with him.
“He treated me like a prostitute,” she added, suggesting that Strauss-Kahn was all too aware that she had been paid.
Strauss-Kahn told the court he had no idea that he had upset “Jade” and said he was “sorry” that she had misinterpreted his actions, but grew angry with the persistent line of questioning.
He told a lawyer for the prostitutes that highlighting his preference for certain sexual acts, such as sodomy, as evidence that he sought out the services of prostitutes was “absurd”.
"I am starting to get fed up," he fumed.
All expenses-paid trip to Washington
Despite his objections, the line of questioning continued, covering a second encounter in Washington, DC, January 2010, when Jade flew out on an all-expenses-paid trip for which she said she was given 2,000 euros to have sex with Strauss-Kahn.
“For 2,000 euros I wasn’t going to say no,” she told magistrates, who asked why she had agreed to go after her negative experience with Strauss-Kahn in Belgium.
“I love travel and I had never seen Washington," she said, adding that Strauss-Kahn’s co-defendants, who had organised her trip, had asked her to be discreet and pretend that she was a “secretary on a business trip”.
Jade said that while she was in Washington she did not have sex with Strauss-Kahn because of an awkward moment with another woman he was having sex with.
She was asked instead to have sex with another French businessman, which she felt obliged to do “because I had been paid”.
The court heard that Fabrice Paszkowski and David Roquet, who are also accused of aggravated pimping and gave evidence on Wednesday, organised a second trip later in 2011, paying two other women 2,500 euros each for the trip.
DSK’s spectacular fall from grace
Paszkowski and Roquet have admitted to organising and paying for the trip to Washington, but deny that the payment was for sexual services.
A total of 14 people, including Strauss-Kahn, are defendants in the so-called "Carlton Affair" trial, named after the Lille hotel where alleged prostitution and pimping sparked the investigation into a sex ring involving Strauss-Kahn.
Strauss-Kahn, who was French finance minister in the 1990s and went on to head the IMF from 2007, was widely expected to run for the French presidency in the 2012 election against conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
He was forced to withdraw following the damaging allegations that he had sexually assaulted hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo at the Sofitel New York Hotel in May 2011.
Criminal charges against him were eventually dropped – by which time the political damage was irreversible – and Strauss-Kahn settled civil proceedings brought against him by Diallo in New York.