Saturday, 30 June 2012

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: the bigger they come....?

The last few years of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's life have seen him fall from the stratospheric heights of Managing Director of the IMF to him being accused of rape, participating in an organised prostitution ring, and, now, being ditched by his wife at a time when he is allegedly depressed about his future prospects.

It had been widely rumoured for a while that all was not well with DSK's marriage to richissime Huffington Post news editor Anne Sinclair, and it was finally revealed recently that they separated a month ago, with him moving out of her house ("she threw him out.." bitched people magazine Closer) to live elsewhere in Paris.

The news does not come as a surprise of course. Any marriage would be tested by the kind of events which have cascaded into DSK's life over the last few years. An affair with a UN staffer, allegations of attempted rape by a French journalist, the Diallo NYC Sofitel rape allegations, and more recently, accusations of his participation in a high-class prostitution ring and gang rape allegations by one of the 'girls', although the latter have not yet been formalised as charges.

And while all this was going on, his political and wealthy friends began to desert him, leaving the French press free to publish statements by female French politicans and others, equally freed from fear of powerful retribution from people in high places, about the boorish and aggressive methods they said he employed to try and seduce them.

There has been much speculation about the nature of DSK and Sinclair's relationship, but there has never been any formal confirmation of it by either DSK or Sinclair. Some say that she supported him for so long because they had an 'open' relationship, whilst others held that she was quite simply standing by her man at a time of adversity and when none of the allegations had been proved. But whatever the way they ran their marriage, all these events inevitably took their toll on it.

What are we to think of his downfall? I am certainly not rejoicing (I was a supporter of his bid for the French presidency before the Diallo affair wrecked it) but neither am I about to claim that he, and they, are victims of a witch hunt. As to the allegations, who knows what's true or not?

Perhaps the best way of judging him would need to take into account the words of those who know him, one of whom recently told Reuters that "He's in a bad way. It's very sad. [...] He's mostly just at home on his own while Anne is out and about with her new job. He's shunned by everybody."

Strauss-Kahn is known to be depressed about his future employment prospects, and it's hardly surprising. I can see no possibilities for him on the French political scene, he is persona non-grata for the vast majority of international organisations, and it would be hard to see how he could land a job in a major company. In other words, DSK is now in serious trouble in every sense of the word, and his future, both in financial and personal relationship terms, is extremely bleak.

Which is why I shall refrain from any reaction other than sadness. A ruined marriage, a ruined career, a ruined reputation and accusations of serious sexual crimes have led him to disaster.

But no judge could ever punish Dominique Strauss-Kahn with a heavier sentence than that which his recent life has already handed down to him.

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