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A Sordid Tale: On the Latest ‘DSK Affair’

12:30 PM, Dec 22, 2011 • By JOHN ROSENTHAL
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In the midst of their investigations into the Carlton, French investigators stumbled upon a broader prostitution ring, whose alleged organizers also included a local entrepreneur and Socialist party activist by the name of Fabrice Paszkowski. Paszkowski, who was arrested in October, is reported to have arranged what the French press refers to euphemistically as “soirées fines”: “elegant evenings” – or, in less refined terms, orgies. One of the “guests” at these events is known to have been none other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Indeed, it appears that Paszkowski specially arranged such gatherings for Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn has admitted his participation, thereby, in effect, throwing in the towel on any efforts to salvage his political career. But as such the admission hardly drew more than a yawn from the Parisian cognoscenti. Rumors that Strauss-Kahn frequented so-called clubs échangistes, or “swingers’ clubs,” had already been circulating for many years in France.

The “soirées” would have been of no interest to the police were it not for the fact that at least some of the female guests were in reality not guests at all – but rather working girls. According to the reported statements of participants, the women were paid anywhere from 500 to 1,500 euros for their services (or, roughly, $650 to $2000). Some of them appear to have been veterans of Dodo La Saumure’s Belgian operations. Private rooms in hotels or clubs were typically rented for the occasion. “Mounia,” a call girl from Lille, has explained to police that for one such event in Paris in 2010, no less than four prostitutes were hired expressly for Strauss-Kahn’s “use.”

Based on elements of the investigations that have been leaked to the press, it would appear that Paszkowski specially arranged private sex parties for Strauss-Kahn during a period of several years, overlapping with Strauss-Kahn’s tenure as IMF managing director. David Roquet, an executive in a construction company specializing in public infrastructure projects, is supposed to have helped Paszkowski to arrange for the call girls and cover expenses. The two men are reported to have paid for the events on their company accounts. “On the back of the receipts, I wrote ‘DSK’ and the number of persons present,” Roquet is reported to have told police. Adding to the intrigue, a high-ranking police official from Lille, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, is supposed to have participated in some of the “soirées” and perhaps helped to organize them.

Like Paszkowski, both Roquet and Lagarde have been arrested on suspicion of jointly running a prostitution ring. Dodo La Saumure is under arrest in Belgium on separate charges. Dodo – or Dominique Alderweireld, by his given name – recently complained to the press about his arrest, noting that “everybody knows that brothels are tolerated in Belgium.”

“Paying events” – i.e. “soirées” with paid call girls – were reportedly held in Brussels, Lille, Paris…and Washington. According to multiple articles in the French press, in a period of just six months, between December 2010 and May 2011, no less than three and perhaps four such events were held in Washington. Typically, all of the principal suspects under investigation by the French police – Paszkowski, Roquet, and the police commissioner Lagarde – flew into Washington to join the then IMF director. The French businessmen had prostitutes in tow.

Thus, according to his reported statements to the police, during a trip to Washington in February, Roquet brought along two call girls, rebranding them as company “secretaries.” Paszkowski has told police that he employed the same ruse. The point has been corroborated by “Jade,” a Belgian prostitute who reportedly participated in several of the “events,” including a January 2011 affair in Washington. According to the French regional paper Nord Éclair, which interviewed her, Jade even got to have her picture taken with DSK at IMF headquarters.

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