Strauss-Kahn accuser laments French 'hero's welcome'
The woman who accuses ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her in a Paris flat in 2003, on Saturday lamented what she said was the "hero's welcome" he was given on his return to France from New York.
"I cannot believe that my country gives a hero's welcome to a man who has not been cleared," Tristane Banon said of Strauss-Kahn's return to France last Sunday after attempted rape charges in the United States were dropped.
"I hear people telling me of their disgust, I need their support to remain upright, yet I am the one who bows my head and stays out of sight while others laugh at the cameras," the novelist said in a message sent to AFP and other media and posted on her Facebook page.
Strauss-Kahn arrived back in Paris to a media frenzy last Sunday, nearly four months after being accused of attempted rape by a hotel maid and a fortnight after the charges were dropped when prosecutors said his accuser lacked credibility.
A horde of journalists and handful of supporters awaited his arrival at the airport, and he was again mobbed by media on arriving at his home in the Marais area -- a display Banon's mother described as "indecent" at the time.
The 62-year-old Socialist politician, whose hopes for the French presidency have been torpedoed, still faces a civil suit from his New York accuser as well as a probe into allegations he tried to rape Banon, which he denies.
Strauss-Kahn has filed a defamation suit against the writer.
Calling for a picket in Paris on September 24, Banon wrote: "There is a real problem in this country, things must change.
"Rape and violence against women cannot be trivialised, money and power cannot place someone be above the law."
© 2011 AFP