February 28, 2013

DSK petitions for book to be banned, gets cash instead


For weeks, former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn—better known in France by his initials “DSK”—has attempted to block the publication of Belle et Bête, which was written by a former DSK mistress and documents parts of a seven-month extramarital affair.

According to a Guardian report on the case by Kim Willsher, DSK’s lawyers petitioned to have the book banned on the grounds that it is false and an “invasion of privacy.”

Though a Paris court refused to ban the book outright, DSK “won a court order insisting a card outlining his objections … be individually placed inside every copy of the book sold.” DSK also petitioned for sanctions against Le Nouvel Observateur, which published extracts from the book. In the end, DSK:

… won €50,000 (£43,700) in damages from the author, his former lover Marcela Iacub, and from her publisher, as well as a further €25,000 from the news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which was also ordered to devote half its front page to the court order as punishment.

The book, the author has admitted, contains fictional “graphic sex scenes.” And, in an odd twist to an odd story, DSK’s lawyers produced an email from Iacub in court in which the author apologized to DSK for his depiction in the book and claimed to have been manipulated by “colleagues” while writing the book.

To get even further in the muck, Iacub has also admitted to meeting with DSK’s wife, television and radio host Anne Sinclair, while writing the book. Among the revelations from that interview: Sinclair’s reaction to DSK’s sexual encounter with a hotel maid at New York’s Sofitel Hotel, which is also quoted in the book: “There’s nothing wrong in getting a blow job from the cleaning woman.”



Kelly Burdick is the former executive editor of Melville House.