Talk about arrogance. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the IMF and onetime French presidential hopeful, claims that he possessed diplomatic immunity in a civil suit lodged against him by Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant he had sex with this past May in a Times Square hotel. This boils down to the classic ‘he said-she said’ conundrum. DNA evidence conclusively demonstrated that a sexual encounter did indeed take place, but the bone of contention boils down to consent. Strauss-Kahn labeled his actions a ‘moral failing,’ and Diallo says it was rape, pure and simple.
I wasn’t in the room. I don’t know precisely what happened. I think that the Manhattan DA’s office dropped the criminal charges because there were doubts about her credibility, particularly given the fact that Strauss-Kahn would have hired the best criminal defense attorneys in the nation. And let’s face it, if you’re rich in this country, you’re able to buy a better brand of justice than your average Joe.
But the argument of diplomatic immunity is a bunch of malarkey. If he weren’t making those claims during the period when he was facing the criminal charges, why would he be entitled to them now? He’s not a diplomat, he was a global banker. That he was a French national while he was the managing director of the IMF does not figure into this calculus. Strauss-Kahn is just trying to worm his way off the hook for his ‘moral failing.’
So, we’ll see where this goes. What is for sure is that he’s not going to be the next president of France. What’s not sure is how many more women come forward in the near future with other claims of sexual aggression on his part. Because where there’s smoke, there’s likely a fire. Strauss-Kahn, instead of campaigning for the French presidency, will likely be fending off more such claims in the near future. And while for the victims, this probably falls far short of justice, taking him down not just a notch, but into this media abyss in which he finds himself is a form of justice, in and of itself.