French writer denies pressured into DSK complaint

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2011 6:29 PM
French writer denies pressured into DSK complaint

PARIS (Reuters) - A French writer who has accused former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her in 2003 denied on Wednesday she had come under political pressure to go press charges.

Tristane Banon, 32, filed the complaint last week over an incident she says took place when she went to interview the former French finance minister in a Paris apartment.

Many in France ask why she waited eight years to take action against Strauss-Kahn, who was the Socialist Party's leading candidate for the 2012 presidential election until he was arrested by New York police in mid-May on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid.

Strauss-Kahn has denied the charges in New York and filed a counter-complaint for defamation in France against Banon.

The writer, in her first television interview since taking legal action, Banon denied there was any political agenda behind the move and rejected accusations that she was trying to win public attention for herself.

"The people who know me know that I am neither unstable nor being manipulated, be it by the mayor of my town or by the political parties of the left or right," she told France 2 television.

"If I was doing this to win publicity, it would be a very costly way of doing it," said Banon, who appeared calm and unruffled by questioning.

Banon said at the time of the alleged attack that legal advisors, journalists and her mother, a local councillor representing Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party, advised her against pressing charges.

Banon was interviewed by French police on Monday in the first step in a preliminary investigation of her accusations.

(Reporting by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Jon Boyle)