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Former front-runner in France's presidential election says he regrets sex with hotel maid

Wire • Sep 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM

PARIS (MCT) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund managing director, admitted on Sunday to an "inappropriate" sexual encounter with New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo and said he regretted his "mistake."

"What happened involved neither violence, force, aggression or any criminal act," he said in a French television interview. The encounter ended his IMF career and his plan to run for president of France.

What transpired was an "inappropriate relation," and "more than that, a mistake vis-a-vis my wife, my children, my friends, but also vis-a-vis the French, who had placed their hopes for change in me," he said.

"I think it was a moral mistake and I'm not proud of it," he said. "I think I haven't stopped regretting it.

Before his arrest in New York on May 14 on charges of attempting to rape the hotel maid, Strauss-Kahn had been the favorite to win next year's presidential election.

He ruled out trying to play a role in the election, recognizing he had "missed his meeting" with the French people.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against him on Aug. 23, saying that while there was evidence of a hurried sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo, they could not rely on her testimony to prove it was forced after she had lied about her past.

He still faces a possible trial in a civil case Diallo filed against him.

He also faces possible charges in France, where police this week questioned him about allegations by French writer Tristane Banon that he attempted to rape her during an interview in 2003.

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By Clare Byrne (MCT)

(c)2011 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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