Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and once touted as the future leader of France, is on trial for “aggravated pimping” in northern France. It is alleged that he and 13 others helped run a prostitution ring from the Carlton hotel.
(This has nothing to do with attempted rape charges that were filed against him in New York in 2011, which were later dropped and later settled in a civil suit, but those events spelled the end of his political career and led to the further investigations in France over his behavior.)
DSK—as he is known—denies having anything to do with prostitutes, and testified for three days in his defense this week. The trial has produced all sorts of incredible statements giving insight into former high-flying financier’s unique lifestyle. Whatever the verdict, which is expected next month, these revelations will haunt DSK for some time to come.
Here are five quotes from the star defendant:
The Frenchman says that he committed no crime, as he never knew the girls at these parties were prostitutes—he was just there for the orgies. DSK said that the prosecutors have greatly exaggerated his soirées libertines (link in French). In fact, these get-togethers happened with all the frequency of a quarterly earnings statement:
When one reads the charges referred to by the criminal court, one has the impression of frenetic activity where everyone does it… there were only 12 parties in total. That is four per year over three years.
A former prostitute named Jade tearfully recounted how she was pressured into anal sex at parties that took place between 2008 and 2011, which she said was a sign that DSK knew she was being paid to perform (paywall). DSK acknowledges the sex, but not any knowledge that she was a prostitute. Asked to explain his behavior, he replied:
I think I must have a form of sexuality which is rougher than the average. I am beginning to realize that and I deplore it. But I had no idea at the time that these experiences were so unpleasant as the women now say.
What can I say? It’s nothing to be proud of, but there have been 10 times that I’ve found myself in a situation where a woman threw herself at me.
On the third day of the trial, dozens of text messages between DSK and an associate were read to the court (link in French). Banter between friends can be embarrassing out of context, DSK argued, when faced with texts in which he referred to women as ”equipment” and “gifts,” like in this one:
Do you want to discover a magnificent naughty club in Madrid with me and some equipment?
He also used the women’s actual names sometimes, he added.
In transcripts of phone calls, DSK revealed that he was worried about being placed under investigation for pimping. But fretting about facing ”serious difficulties” was not the same as admitting guilt, he said. Then, according to the Irish Times, when asked what sort of ”difficulties” he was expecting, he cracked wise:
It was a joke. As soon as I meet a person of the opposite sex, I have problems.