Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tristane Banon Frees Herself by Speaking Out Against Strauss-Kahn -


Ms. Banon, who is often shown in magazines here looking like a pale, skinny adolescent and wearing ripped jeans, sounded mature, self-confident and determined. If French prosecutors decide there is not enough evidence to bring her case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, she said, “I’ll have to live with this, but I’ll live badly.”

In early 2003, she was a 23-year-old journalist, working as an intern for the magazine Paris Match when she interviewed Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a leading Socialist, for a book she was researching about the mistakes of powerful people.

In various settings since 2007, and most recently in the French weekly magazine L’Express, she has described what she says happened — how Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who arranged to meet her in a sparsely furnished apartment, had tried to rape her, undoing her bra and jeans and putting his hand in her underwear.

But for eight years, advised by her mother and her friends to keep silent, Ms. Banon said she did not find the courage to bring a criminal complaint against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose second wife was her godmother. “I was too young and fearful at the time,” she said.

In the interview, Ms. Banon said the episode destroyed her self-confidence, affected her relationships with men and hurt her chances to find work in journalism.

“I never understood why some people destroyed my career, my life, insulted me while I was the victim,” she said.

Tristane Banon Frees Herself by Speaking Out Against Strauss-Kahn -

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