Strauss-Kahn returns home to France after sex scandal

Former IMF chief arrives back at luxurious Paris apartment to sea of flashing cameras; arrival marks end of 3-month NY court struggle.

September 4, 2011 12:08
1 minute read.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn returns home

Dominique Strauss-Kahn returns home (R) 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

PARIS- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, his presidential hopes shattered by a sex assault scandal that rocked his homeland, returned on Sunday to France, where he faces a frosty reception from the public and unease among his political allies.

The former IMF chief arrived at Paris's Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport at about 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) with his wife Anne Sinclair. Police escorts whisked the couple through the terminal, past waiting media, and into a car.

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Dressed in a suit and smiling, Strauss-Kahn arrived at his apartment in the luxurious Place des Vosges square in central Paris an hour later. He waved, but made no comment as he pushed through a sea of flashing media cameras.

His homecoming marks the end of a three-month struggle through New York's criminal court system after he was charged with attempting to rape a New York hotel maid. The case was dropped after her credibility was thrown into doubt.

His Socialist Party allies have cheered the withdrawal of charges against the man formerly tipped as a possible favourite to win the 2012 presidential election, but the damage to his image from the affair make his future unclear.

"Let's not put pressure on him," Francois Pupponi, a close ally and mayor of the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles where Strauss-Kahn built his political base as mayor in the late 1990s.

"He needs to rebuild himself," Pupponi told LCI television, moments after the couple arrived at Roissy. "What's important is that he is back in France. He is going to be able to think about the future with more clarity."

French media said Strauss-Kahn was expected to make a statement later in the day.

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