Was Dominique Strauss-Kahn framed?

An exhaustive new report suggests that the disgraced former IMF boss was the victim of a setup designed to kill his political future

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
(Image credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

In a thorough investigation published in the New York Review of Books, journalist Edward Jay Epstein raises provocative new questions about what really happened between one-time International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the maid who alleged that DSK sexually assaulted her in a New York hotel room. The criminal case was dropped earlier this year when the accuser's credibility eroded, and now Epstein's report seems to suggest that DSK was entrapped as part of a plot to kill his prospects in France's 2012 presidential race. Epstein's evidence? The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, suspiciously visited another guest on DSK's floor numerous times; two hotel employees celebrated after the crime was reported; and DSK's BlackBerry strangely went missing the day of his arrest. The hotel has responded by saying that the mysterious guest whose room Diallo visited had already checked out, and that the jubilant employees were celebrating a sports victory. Is this just another conspiracy theory?

No. These are damning allegations: It's "all very odd, to say the least," says Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft. Diallo may very well have been meeting with that mysterious guest in room 2820 for reasons other than housekeeping. Also curious is how "hurried" the sexual encounter between Diallo and Strauss-Kahn was, with Epstein's evidence indicating that it lasted a mere six to seven minutes. These details "raise the question of whether Diallo was recruited by whoever was in 2820 to initiate the encounter."

"New details in Dominique Strauss-Kahn case: A set-up?"

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C'mon. This is a classic conspiracy theory: "The problem with conspiracy theories [like this] is that the people who concoct them like to sum up zeroes" and conveniently gloss over the facts of the case, says Christopher Dickey at The Daily Beast. What about Diallo's account? And the DNA evidence? Epstein raises questions "when there are none." Of course, Strauss-Kahn could put an end to these theories by telling us exactly what happened. "If only he would."

"Why Dominique Strauss-Kahn needs to tell his side of the story"

And people are sick of hearing about it: It's telling that even the French greeted these new accusations that Strauss-Kahn was set up "more with a shrug than with surprise," says Sophie Pedder in The Economist. Considering that 57 percent of French people suspected a conspiracy immediately following his arrest, one would expect the country to be "howling with indignation" at Epstein's revelations. Yet Le Monde, one of the country's biggest papers, doesn't even mention the story. The message is clear: "Enough already."

"The great DSK shrug"

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