Tristane Banon vows to sue DSK on French TV

Tristane Banon

French writer Tristane Banon reignites rape feud with Dominique Strauss-Kahn in TV interview

LAST UPDATED AT 17:02 ON Tue 20 Sep 2011

L'AFFAIRE DSK continues as Tristane Banon, the writer who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of attempted rape in 2003, took to the French airwaves last night to have her say on live television.

Following Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s address to the French people in a television interview on Sunday night about his recent 'moral failing', Banon appeared on the pay-TV channel Canal+ to say that she would initiate civil action against DSK if French authorities decide not to prosecute him.

The previous night, Strauss-Kahn had admitted during his mea culpa that he had indeed made a move on Banon, but claims that he didn't take it any further after she made it clear that she wasn't interested.

But last night Banon painted a very different picture of the encounter. "He double-locked the door and left the keys in the lock, I didn't feel good but I couldn't have imagined what was going to happen, and very quickly, we fought," the 32-year-old said. "It deteriorated and I think that if I didn't have a lot of luck it would have ended up as a rape."

At the time of the alleged assault Ms Banon did not report the attack to the police, having been advised by her mother - a member of Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party and a sexual conquest of his - not to. It was only after DSK was arrested in New York that the writer came forward and filed a formal complaint. Banon's accusations were dismissed as "imaginary" and "slanderous" by Strauss-Kahn on Sunday night.

The ongoing public feud with Banon will hinder the chances that Strauss-Kahn has of returning to frontline political life. He had been the leading candidate to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential election for the Socialists, but he missed the deadline to stand in the party's internal primary election.

But he continues to cast a shadow over the French political landscape - his TV appearance came two days after a debate between the six registered Socialist candidates proved an unlikely ratings hit, pulling in 4.9 million viewers. The party must have hoped that it had moved on from the repercussions of the DSK affair. · 

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