PARIS (AP) — His wife is gone (taking her family fortune with her). So is any chance at the French presidency (once considered his to lose). And a large chunk of his dignity has vanished (he still faces a charge of "aggravated pimping").
But second acts come in mysterious ways for French politicians, and the man universally dubbed DSK appears to be making cautious attempts at rehabilitating his professional reputation.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was once notorious for his ability to accumulate power, money and fame. The former head of the International Monetary Fund, a leading French Socialist and potential presidential candidate, was quick-witted and dapper before he fell spectacularly from grace in 2011 with the rape accusations of a New York hotel maid.
Then a young French writer claimed an attempted rape by him years ago was hushed up by her mother, also a DSK conquest. Then, as an appalled France tried to digest a new image of one of Europe's premier economists, came the revelations of past orgies.
Word of a settlement between Strauss-Kahn, 63, and the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, 33, would close the American case that left his reputation in tatters.
A person familiar with the New York case said that lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and Diallo have made the as-yet-unsigned agreement within recent days, with Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon facilitating. A court date is expected next week, although the day wasn't set, the person said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the private agreement.
Strauss-Kahn's U.S. lawyers said Friday that "the parties have discussed a resolution" but that no settlement has been finalized. His U.S. and French lawyers denied a report in the respected French newspaper Le Monde that Strauss-Kahn would pay $6 million to Diallo.
"By deciding on (a settlement), he's showing that he doesn't believe in his political future," said Philippe Martinat, whose biography of Strauss-Kahn was published a year before the Sofitel hotel encounter in New York. "But he does want to find credibility as an economic expert and be able to share his international experience on a larger stage."
Strauss-Kahn has taken small steps to that end, notably an interview in October in which he demanded "Leave me alone!" before describing his frustration with legal gag orders and his "naive" belief that the French, at least, would understand the libertine life of a man nicknamed "the great seducer." He's started giving speeches at international conferences and reportedly setting up a consulting company in Paris.
"I always believed I could live my personal life as I wanted to," Strauss-Kahn said in the October interview with the magazine Le Point. "Including behavior between freely consenting adults. There are numerous parties for that — you'd be surprised who goes to them. ... I was too out of step with French society for a political leader."
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