DSK spent more than three hours in a police interview as a “witness” just over a week after charges of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid in New York were dropped.
Journalist Tristane Banon, 32, filed a complaint this summer alleging that Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in a Paris apartment in 2003 where he had invited her to interview him for a book she was writing.
Tristane Banon said the fomer IMF chief lunged at her like a “rutting chimpanzee” and she had to fend him off with kicks and punches as he ignored her cries of “rape”.
DSK is suing Tristane Banon for defamation, alleging she made up the “imaginary” assault as a publicity stunt.
Police are now conducting a preliminary investigation into Tristane Banon’s allegations to see if there is enough evidence to press charges.
Police has already interviewed friends, family members and other politicians in the investigation, including Tristane Banon’s mother – once DSK‘s lover – and François Hollande, polled as most likely to be the Socialists’ presidential candidate.
DSK‘s lawyers Frédérique Baulieu and Henri Leclerc said on Monday:
“At the request of Mr Strauss-Kahn, this interview is taking place as early as possible in the timetable of the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Tristane Banon said over the weekend she was “sickened” by the “hero’s welcome” he received on DSK return to France from the US.
“What has been happening over the past six days makes me feel sick,” she wrote.
“I cannot believe that my country gives a hero’s welcome to a man who has not been cleared.
“I hear people telling me of their disgust, I feed off their support to remain upright, yet I am the one who bows my head and hugs the walls while others laugh at the cameras.”
She has called for a demonstration on September 24 in front of Paris’s criminal court to demand a trial.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s return has embarrassed the opposition French Socialist party, about to launch presidential primaries. Party’s former leader Martine Aubry, a presidential hopeful, said DSK “must explain himself” to party colleagues.
Before DSK arrest in New York in May, he had been the Socialist party’s favourite to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy next April, with polls predicting he would win comfortably.
Attempted rape charges were dropped in New York after prosecutors ruled that chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo had later lied to police and was “unreliable”. DSK had always insisted sex was consensual.
DSK still faces a civil lawsuit filed by Nafissatou Diallo in the US.