Japanese newspapers call it a "lower half problem". Bill
Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, JFK
– there’s no shortage of prominent politicians who have it. And according
to Libération journalist Jean Quatremer, the next managing
director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is no exception.
In a blog
entry earlier this month, brought to my attention by Chris Masse,
Quatremer said what most French journalists knew but few would publish. John
"The only real problem with Strauss-Kahn is his attitude to women."
He is "too insistent," M. Quatremer wrote. "The IMF is an international
institution with Anglo-Saxon morals. One inappropriate gesture, one unfortunate
comment, and there will be a media hue and cry."
How bad is this problem? According to Masse, it’s very bad indeed:
A cable TV show ("93 Faubourg Saint Honoré", on Paris Premiere,
hosted by Thierry Ardisson) invited a young (and unknown to me) French actress.
I don’t remember her name. She said that she had a bad encounter with Dominique
Strauss-Kahn. Here’s what happened. She was asked to come in a little apartment
he had in Paris, and then the next thing, Strauss-Kahn jumped on her and tried
to undress her and more. She yelled, and told him that that was a rape, but
the word "rape" ("viol" in French) didn’t seem to perturb
him. She said that he was like "a gorille en rut" (a gorilla in
The transcript of this portion of the TV show was later published in the French
monthly "Entrevue", some time ago, maybe one year ago. This magazine
published the transcript, with a "beep" when she pronounced the
name of Strauss-Kahn. But the magazine added as an addendum that the TV host
(Thierry Ardisson) tells everybody in Paris that under the "beep"
is Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
And since we’re on the subject of MDB gossip, it’s also worth noting that Quatremer’s
blog entry answers my
question about what the real reason is that Rodrigo Rato
resigned, creating the IMF opening in the first place: he says it’s because
of Rato’s "acrimonious divorce" ("divorce agité").
Which isn’t the most obvious reason for quitting your job, but maybe there’s
an explanation in there somewhere.