- Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears in New York court
- IMF chief's lawyer: He will plead not guilty
- Writer Tristane Banon: He attacked me when I was 21
- American wife has 'no doubt' he's innocent
Dominique Strauss-Kahn underwent forensic tests today following his arrest on sex attack charges in New York - as a second woman in Paris reported him for attempted rape.
The 62-year-old head of the International Monetary Fund, who was tipped to become the President of France next year, ‘vigorously’ denies the claims made by an unnamed American chamber maid.
But now Tristane Banon, the 31-year-old god-daughter of Strauss-Kahn’s second wife Brigitte Guillemette, said he attacked her almost a decade ago.
Ms Banon will now tell French detectives about the alleged attempted rape, which took place in an anonymous studio flat in Paris in 2002.
Strauss-Kahn lured the then 21-year-old trainee journalist to the property under the promise of an interview, and then started to rip her clothes off, it is claimed.
‘I kicked him, I called him a rapist, he didn’t seem to care,’ said Ms Banon in earlier interviews, in which she also described Strauss-Kahn as acting like a ‘rutting chimpanzee’.
Ms Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, said the only reason she did not press charges at the time was because 'she was just starting out in journalism' and was afraid of being 'defined by the story' of being attacked by a senior politician.
Allegations: Tristane Banon, 31, claims
that she was attacked by Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, who is currently being
held in New York over other allegations
Mrs Mansouret has now confirmed that her daughter is making a report to Paris police, and may hold a press conference about an ordeal which left her 'traumatised'.
Lawyer David Koubbi said that his client, Ms Banon, is 'considering filing a complaint'.
Strauss-Kahn today appeared in court charged with performing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.
He was arrested on an Air France jet as it sat on the runway at JFK just hours after the alleged attack took place at the luxury Sofitel New York.
One of the establishment's maids, a 32-year-old African American, claims she was dragged into Strauss-Kahn's £1,855-a-night suite on Saturday.
She told police she was forced to give him oral sex before he started to rip her clothes off and tried to rape her.
The alleged victim then claimed she managed to free herself and fled.
Charged: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is taken into the Municipal Court in New York earlier today
Strauss-Kahn, who is known in his home country as the ‘Great Seducer’, is said to have left the hotel in a hurry, forgetting a mobile phone and other items.
He was dramatically captured by plain-clothes detectives on-board the First Class cabin of Air France flight 23, which was 10 minutes from take-off.
Strauss-Kahn is said to have asked: 'What is this about?'.He was then bundled away in front of startled fellow passengers.
The maid, who is said to be slightly injured, identified Strauss-Kahn at an identity parade at the special victims unit in Harlem, and was later driven from the station in a police van with a blanket over her head.
Delay: William Taylor, right, and Benjamin Brafman, left, attorneys for Mr Strauss-Kahn, talk to the press outside the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York last night
Dogged by scandal: Mr Strauss-Kahn is seen with his wife and leading French journalist Anne Sinclair
If found guilty of the attack, Strauss-Kahn faces up to 15 years in prison. Even if he is acquitted, his political and financial career are in tatters.
As well as heading up the IMF, he was favourite to take the French presidency from the unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Frenchman's allies have claimed he may be the victim of a plot to discredit him. It emerged today that he had once said he feared political opponents would pay a woman more than $1million to say he had raped her.
He has, however, had a long held reputation as a ladies' man with voracious appetites. Three times married, he was forced to apologise in 2008 following an affair with a junior colleague at the IMF.
Scene: One of the luxury suites at the Sofitel New York
Scene of the alleged attack: The Sofitel New York in the heart of the city's theatre district
'SHE'S A SWEET LADY': HIS ALLEGED VICTIM
The victim of the alleged sex assault is a single mother and ‘a sweet lady', a friend said.
The African American woman, who is thought to be originally from Ghana, is ‘reserved and quiet’, the friend claimed.
‘She has been at the hotel for about four years and is well liked - I think she is a single mum and just does her work quietly and goes home.
'I think she will be back to work at some point’.
A hotel source said the woman was 32 years old and that her work had always been 'very satisfactory'.
The friend said the alleged victim is black and about 6ft tall with dark hair. She works on the top floor as a room attendant.
That position earns a mere $23,000 a year - worlds away from the salary of the IMF chief.
Aurelie Filipetti, a respected French Socialist MP, said in 2008 that she was groped by Strauss-Kahn and would 'forever make sure' she was never 'alone in a room with him'.
In the same year Strauss-Kahn admitted to a sexual relationship with one of his subordinates, Piroska Nagy.
He was cleared of harassment, favouritism and abuse of power following an inquiry - but kept his job, while Ms Nagy move on.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said: 'He intends to vigorously defend these charges and denies any wrongdoing.'
William Taylor, another member of his legal team, said: 'Our client willingly consented to scientific and forensic examinations at the request of the government. He’s tired, but he’s fine.'
Strauss-Kahn’s third wife, Anne Sinclair, 63, is also sticking by him, saying she 'does not believe for a second' the allegations, adding: 'I have no doubt that his innocence will be established.'
Some allies in the French Socialist Party even say that Strauss-Kahn is the victim of a ‘smear campaign’ orchestrated by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Socialist politician Jean-Marie Le Guen said: ‘There is now a totally structured and orchestrated campaign, which has already been announced by Mr. Sarkozy and his closest allies, to attack the character of Strauss-Kahn.’
Drama: Air France Flight 23 from JFK was ten minutes from departure when police boarded and took Strauss-Kahn into custody
Strauss-Kahn’s official biographer, Michel Taubmann, said he was a well-known seducer, but added: ‘I can’t believe he would force himself on an unwilling woman. That doesn’t make sense.
‘If anything he was the one harassed, not the reverse — I’ve seen time and again women MPs, party workers, brazenly passing on notes, hoping he would notice them.’
Strauss-Kahn was due to go head-to-head against Mr Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential elections, with Elysee Palace sources indicating that Mr Sarkozy was ‘quietly delighted’ that his chief rival had ‘blown up before the campaign has even got underway’.