Dominique Strauss-Kahn's French accuser releases book

Tristane Banon's novel contains descriptions of a sexual attack and its aftermath that seem to match up with her claims against Strauss-Kahn.

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
A photo illustration shows former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, once a favorite for the French presidency, and his accuser Tristane Banon.

Tristane Banon, the French author and journalist who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, has published what appears to be a fictional version of the alleged attack.

Her 128-page novel, titled “Le Bal des Hypocrites” (The Ball of Hypocrites), was released yesterday, the same day that French prosecutors dropped the investigation against Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape.

The office said there had been insufficient evidence with which to charge Strauss-Kahn, but that there were “facts that could qualify as sexual aggression,” according to The Guardian. The statement from the French prosecutor’s office stated that no legal action could occur because the statute of limitations for sexual assault is three years, and the alleged attack would have occurred in 2003. Banon is the goddaughter of Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife.

In Banon’s book, she never refers to Strauss-Kahn by name, but refers to a character that resembles the ex-IMF chief as the “pig” or “baboon.” She describes seeing “the baboon” on television and people saying on the TV that “he would revive the country, lower taxes, understand the weakest and bring happiness and calm to each French household.” She then writes of waking up on May 15 to hear that “the baboon man” had been arrested.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May in connection with a sexual assault on a chambermaid in a New York hotel, a sexual assault on a chambermaid in a New York hotel. The case was dropped after doubts arose over his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, who was reported to have lied to prosecutors about personal matters. Strauss-Kahn was once considered a frontrunner for the French presidency and, in a testimony that was leaked today, told police he grabbed Banon but let go when she resisted, according to The Guardian.

Banon first mentioned her allegations on a French TV show in 2007, and an excerpt of her book was published in the magazine Paris Match. In her book, she criticizes initial supporters who she says have abandoned her.

“How many promised to give evidence if, in future, they were called to do so? How many assured me of unwavering support? How many suddenly disappeared the moment they were asked to sign a written declaration, when they had to photocopy their identity card to authenticate the statement?” she writes.

She also addresses questions of why she hadn’t come forward about the attack before 2007.

“Put yourself in my place,” she writes in “Le Bal des Hypocrites.”

Banon’s lawyer David Koubbi has stated he would bring a civil case against Strauss-Kahn if the criminal case was dropped.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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