French police interview Strauss-Kahn ex-wife in Banon case

18th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police have questioned the ex-wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Brigitte Guillemette, as part of an investigation into a French writer's claims he tried to rape her in 2003, a legal source said Monday.

Guillemette is the godmother of journalist Tristane Banon, 32, who has lodged a formal complaint against the former International Monetary Fund chief currently awaiting his next court appearance in New York on a sex assault case there.

Detectives from the violent crimes squad interviewed his ex-wife on Friday, a source said, confirming a report on the Le Point news magazine website.

Banon's mother, Anne Mansouret, has said recently in several press interviews that she had contacted Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife shortly after the alleged sexual assault on her daughter.

Banon accuses Strauss-Kahn of attacking her during an interview in February 2003 in a central Paris flat. She was herself questioned by police on July 11.

Prosecutors will later decide whether to charge the 62-year-old Socialist politician, who was at one time expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential election.

Strauss-Kahn currently faces criminal charges in New York for allegedly trying to rape a 32-year-old hotel maid back in May, which he denies.

He has also dismissed Banon's claims and his lawyers said they have filed a lawsuit for defamation against the young writer, who in a 2007 television interview accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to force himself on her "like a rutting chimpanzee."

Strauss-Kahn's name was bleeped out but Banon confirmed in a separate interview she was referring to him.

© 2011 AFP

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