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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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Although the women were provided “covers” on their Washington visits, Paszkowski has conceded that it was not, as a rule, difficult to know their real line of work. “As for her status as a call girl, it’s a status that she easily acknowledged,” he is reported to have told police regarding one of the regular hires.

Astonishingly, Strauss-Kahn’s last organized sex bash in Washington is reported to have taken place on May 13. According to several French news sources, it was held at the W Hotel, just a short walk from the White House. On the very next day, Strauss-Kahn would leave Washington for New York and check into the Sofitel. The following morning, he would have his famous and fateful encounter with Nafissatou Diallo.

A call girl who has been identified only as “Florence” has told the French daily Le Parisen that she and a friend were paid 1,200 euros each for their services on this last Washington visit. In his statements to the police, Roquet has reportedly estimated the total cost of the operation at anywhere between 24,000 and 30,000 euros (or, roughly, $30,000 to $40,000).

At the time of his arrest in October, Paszkowski is reported to have turned over two of his cell phones to police. Inspecting the abundant archive of text messages exchanged between Strauss-Kahn and Paszkowski, investigators have turned up numerous barely-coded messages in which Strauss-Kahn, as L’Express has put it, “appears to ‘order’ girls or ask for new ones.” Many such messages have been quoted in the French press.

In one of the more disturbingly suggestive messages, dated July 4, 2009, Strauss-Kahn asks Paszkowski, “Do you want to (and can you) come discover a magnificent sex club in Madrid with me (and material)?” On January 23, 2011, during preparations for one of the Washington visits, Strauss-Kahn asks, “So, who will you have in your luggage?” Paszkowski’s response: “Sylvie, still complicated. Jade, Catherine, for sure. As for the little new one, she wants to see you, but in France to begin with….”

Strauss-Kahn has insisted that he was not aware that the women placed at his disposition were prostitutes. In a conversation with his semi-official biographer Michel Taubmann, he has even protested that he finds it “intolerable” to see his name associated with prostitution.

Earlier this month, as talk resurfaced of Strauss-Kahn being indicted as an accomplice in the affair, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Henri Leclerc took to the airwaves of French radio station Europe 1. Asked whether Strauss-Kahn could truly have been unaware that he was dealing with prostitutes, Leclerc suggested a novel line of defense. “He could perfectly well have been unaware,” Leclerc replied, “because – guess what? – at these sorts of parties, one is not necessarily wearing clothes; and I defy you to try to distinguish a prostitute who is naked from a worldly woman who is naked.”

French judicial investigations into the “Carlton” prostitution affair are ongoing. According to the latest reports, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is scheduled for questioning in January.

John Rosenthal writes on European politics and transatlantic security issues. You can follow his work at or on Facebook. 

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