Today, people in France have been looking at photos of the New York residence where Dominique Strauss-Kahn—widely imagined, up until recently, as our future president—is awaiting the unfolding of the judicial procedures that concern him. For the moment, you can still visit a website with lovely images of the flashy townhouse in question. I wouldn't be surprised if this website were soon removed, however, because this public presentation of a luxurious high-priced Manhattan residence can't be doing DSK a lot of good.
Here in France, these images and the associated real-estate figures will surely constitute a final golden nail in the coffin of DSK's political career. Even the good folk of Sarcelles (the town on the outskirts of Paris where DSK used to be the mayor), who adore him, are unlikely to look upon him in the same way as before, now that they discover his New York lifestyle. French people simply do not like to give their votes to a guy who behaves in such an ostentatious "nouveau riche" style... which is why there has been so much disenchantment concerning Nicolas Sarkozy. Be that as it may, I've put some of the spectacular townhouse photos here, for safekeeping:
I persist in believing that DSK's lawyers are likely to find sufficient evidence to demolish entirely the credibility and claims of "Ophelia", the plaintiff. I've heard rumors, over the last day or so, that she may have been perfectly aware of the identity, reputation and wealth of DSK, and that she attempted naively to use her charms, followed by a rape scenario, to extort money from him. A French media source has suggested explicitly that Strauss-Kahn may have realized rapidly that he was being set up, and that this caused him to react physically in a rather violent fashion. Sex has always been a somewhat "animalistic" activity, and it's not abnormal that a male with his pants down, sensing that he has been led up the garden path, might decide spontaneously to terminate his act in a style that could be described as punishment. [Readers who don't understand immediately the sense and implications of the sentence I've just written should not waste their time trying to figure out what I'm suggesting, because they've probably been fortunate in seeing only the nice romantic side of sex… and good for them!] According to this scenario of events, if "Ophelia" was in such a distraught state when she was found, it was primarily because her scheme backfired in her face (literally). As my rough mates in Grafton used to say: "She got hers."
In the hours that followed the Sofitel incident, as soon as it became known that an important personality was involved in a nasty sex affair, local detective agencies were no doubt already booking their men into the hotel, disguised as randy businessmen, to get the lowdown on what might be available there in the way of sex, along with juicy tidbits of relevant information of all kinds. We outsiders, with our heads full of US crime movies, imagine naively that, in an affair such as this, various smart law officers and lawyers start talking together and discussing what might have happened, and how they might obtain the facts. In reality, though, I would imagine that things happen more rapidly but in a far less telegenic manner. Within a few hours, various detective agencies had probably obtained—through all sorts of experienced professionals, including sleazy operators whenever necessary—a complete in-depth description of everything that had happened, and they were no doubt already marketing their facts and files to certain lawyers, such as those who were finally chosen by DSK.
My guess is that, right from the start, the lawyers Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor were already in possession of explicit evidence enabling them to demonstrate convincingly the thesis, say, of an extortion attempt that was inexpertly disguised in a bungled rape scenario. That's why they've been saying all along that DSK will be acquitted. It's such a clearcut black-and-white situation (no pun intended) that I'm not surprised by DSK's constant "not guilty" attitude. There will, of course, be commentators who'll say that Strauss-Kahn, once he realized that he was in a kind of blackmail situation, should have put his pants back on and calmly phoned the police. I don't agree. To develop this point, I would need to resort to vile language and nasty aspects of fornication. And, since there might be pure-minded youngsters reading my blog, I'll leave off there.
BREAKING NEWS: Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have just sent a letter to the district attorney of New York complaining of information leaks perpetrated, most probably, by Manhattan police officers. We must understand that one of the basic tools exploited by trial lawyers is the capacity to surprise the jury. When the lawyers evoke a trial that would be "equitable", they mean precisely a courtroom ambiance in which they would retain the possibility of impressing members of the jury—indeed, shocking them—with surprising revelations. Apparently the lawyers have a pile of surprises in their bag of tricks, and they obviously don't want to see any dumb cops letting the cat out of the bag.