In a wacky twist on the old “You can’t fire me, because I QUIT!” syndrome, Dominque Strauss-Kahn is counter suing Nafissatou Diallo, the Sofitel housekeeper who accused him of raping her last year.
Asking for $1 million in damages, Strauss-Kahn’s lawsuit alleges that Diallo’s baseless accusations cost him his job as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, as well as “other professional opportunities.”
No doubt, one of those opportunities might have been President of the French Republic: a distinction which now belongs to François Hollande, who was sworn in today.
Prior to Strauss-Khan’s transition from insider to infamy he was considered the presumptive nominee of the Socialist Party and expected to beat Nicholas Sarkozy in last week’s election– as has Hollande. It goes without saying that there can be no more bitter pill for a man of Strauss-Khan’s one-time stature to swallow… which brings me to Diallo.
Her own problems with credibility in the months after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest notwithstanding, the fact remains that only two people know what really happened in that Midtown Manhattan hotel room on May 14, 2011. I would no sooner take sides, nor make assumptions about either party, without benefit of having examined all the facts of the case. By the same token, when a single allegation of rape against Strauss-Kahn is examined against a backdrop of prior accusations of sexual harassment, alleged involvement in prostitution rings and his admission of having taken part in “libertine activities”, one can only wonder at what point Strauss-Kahn might put his own political aspirations aside to preserve the dignity of the Presidency and his Party.
Among other things, this makes me question Strauss-Kahn’s judgement; his apparent inability to win friends and influence people; his propensity for leaving a veritable flotilla of very angry women in his wake; his likability quotient; not-to-mention how a man with so many distractions (and this is the kindest way to put it if Strauss-Kahn is indeed guilty of any, or all, of the crimes of which he has been accused) can possibly be expected to lead France when she is on the brink of social and economic collapse.
And then there is the matter of perception: because guilty or not, the mere idea that the person representing France on a global stage may be a criminal is just bad PR: the antithesis of statesman.
This being the case, Strauss-Kahn’s allegation that a chambermaid is singly responsible for having stripped him of all credibility and job opportunities is not only laughable; but suggests a myopia where big-picture thinking is needed. And that’s just bad politics.