Former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn admits rough approach to sex

Story highlights

  • Strauss-Kahn: "I am discovering that my sexuality is perhaps rougher than most men's"
  • A sex worker tells the court that Strauss-Kahn subjected her to an unsolicited sex act

Lille, France (CNN)Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn conceded Wednesday that his approach to sex is rougher than that of most men, as he took the stand for a second day in his trial in France on aggravated pimping charges.

His words followed testimony from two sex workers about his behavior at sex parties he's accused of organizing or encouraging in Europe and the United States. He denies knowing that the women involved in the parties were prostitutes.
    One, named only as Mounia R., told the court in the northern French city of Lille that Strauss-Kahn had "brutal" sexual relations with her and must have known she was being paid.
    A second, named as Jade, told the court that she had been subjected to an "unsolicited" sexual act by Strauss-Kahn -- who's commonly known by his initials, DSK -- after going to a party at the Tantra sex club in Belgium.
    "Through this trial, I am discovering that my sexuality is perhaps rougher than most men's sexuality. If some women don't like it, it's their right. But my behavior is the same with all women," Strauss-Kahn said.
    Strauss-Kahn, who was married to French TV journalist Anne Sinclair until their divorce in 2013, has never denied that he took part in the parties.
    But the crux of his defense is that he did not know prostitutes were involved.

    'A butchery'

    Both Mounia R. and Jade are plaintiffs in the case. Jade told the court she had refused to have sex with Strauss-Kahn at the Tantra club, "because it was a butchery." He was allegedly on a mattress with 40 people.
    She later accompanied Strauss-Kahn to his hotel at the request of fellow defendant Fabrice Paszkowski, a businessman friend of the former IMF director, she said.
    It was there that she was subjected to the unwanted sexual act, she told the court through tears.
    Asked by the judge if she had voiced her refusal, Jade responded that she didn't have time to say anything.
    Strauss-Kahn didn't ask and she would have said no had he done so, she said. "Had I been a libertine, he would have asked, this seems obvious," she said, using a term that describes someone who is sexually or morally unrestrained.
    Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday denied knowing any of the women at the sex parties were prostitutes, saying he was told by Paszkowski that they were "libertines" who liked sex.
    She had previously met Strauss-Kahn at a hotel in Paris, Jade said, when he was the only man surrounded by other women in a bed. He did not speak to her but treated her "like an object, not as a human being."
    Asked about Jade's testimony, Strauss-Kahn maintained that he didn't know she was a prostitute, although she mentioned to him that she was performing dances in a swinger club for money. The dances were sometimes followed by sexual acts on stage.
    Jade later went on a trip to Washington, D.C. as part of a group accompanying Strauss-Kahn, the court heard.
    She told the judge that she had agreed to go despite his behavior in Belgium because she needed the money -- she was paid 2,000 euros ($2,260) -- and wanted to see the American capital.
    "I was there for him, for DSK. I was told so, otherwise why would I go to DC? No one else was in DC, except him!" she said of the trip.
    She did not sleep with Strauss-Kahn on that trip, she said. He approached another woman in the group for sex but was turned down.

    Sex worker: Strauss-Kahn asked about fees

    The court also heard excerpts of testimony given previously by two other sex workers, named as Estelle and Marion, who joined a second trip to Washington with Strauss-Kahn.
    Estelle alleged that Strauss-Kahn had asked to see her without Paszkowski's group and had inquired about her fees. Marion's testimony said that Estelle had told her that.
    Questioned about this, Strauss-Kahn conceded that he had asked to see Estelle alone but denied speaking of any remuneration. He said that if money was mentioned, it was just to cover her travel expenses.
    The two women had been introduced to Strauss-Kahn as secretaries working for a construction company at which another defendant in the case, businessman David Roquet, was employed.
    According to excerpts read out by a magistrate, a witness who was part of that second trip to Washington said he had doubts about the professions of Estelle and Marion after spending time with them.
    The next day he allegedly told Paszkowski: "You are not going to make me believe they were secretaries. Never do this again to me!"

    Strauss-Kahn: 'Not an organizer of parties'

    Two women who accompanied Strauss-Kahn on a third trip to Washington said they considered themselves libertines, not prostitutes, but would not turn down a "present."
    The women, named Florence and Hélène, said they worked as an assistant film director and a financial counselor and received payment for the trip. They were not in court Wednesday, but parts of their statements were read aloud by magistrates.
    Unlike other women in this case, Helene and Florence said they didn't perceive any brutality or deviance at the parties. When asked whether the men of the group knew of their being paid, Helene said, "Even if things weren't told, and considering their status and intelligence, it would have been too good to be true."
    Late Wednesday, a woman named Ines recalled hearing Strauss-Kahn say he "loathed whores." That comment came after she wondered aloud about the profession of women at a sex party they'd both attended, Ines said in a statement read in court.
    Ines, who said she slept with Strauss-Kahn in hopes he'd help her find work in communications, did not attend the hearing.
    Prosecutors say the operations of the prostitution ring, organized from the Hotel Carlton in Lille, stretched all the way to New York and Washington. Sex workers involved in the parties said they were like orgies.
    In France, prostitution is legal, but pimping is not.
    In questioning Tuesday, Strauss-Kahn acknowledged that the sexual encounters were organized in such a way that they could fit his agenda.
    "But I don't consider myself as the organizer of any party whatsoever," he said, adding that he had never asked anyone to organize parties for him.
    He also spoke of his dislike for prostitution and the risks that he considered using prostitutes would pose in terms of his political ambitions.
    Prosecutors say Paszkowski and Roquet picked up the bills for the sex parties for their influential friend.
    The prosecutor's office in late 2013 asked for Strauss-Kahn's case to be dismissed, citing lack of evidence. However, the investigating magistrates did not follow their recommendations.
    The trial of Strauss-Kahn, who saw his stellar career plummet to earth after a separate sex scandal that resulted in his arrest in New York in 2011, opened in Lille just over a week ago. He was later cleared of the New York allegations.
    Before that scandal erupted, he had been on track to run for the French presidency -- an election his Socialist Party later won with Francois Hollande as its candidate.