IMF head Strauss-Kahn pulled off plane, arrested in alleged sodomy of hotel maid

Philip Messing, Jamie Schram, Larry Celona and Bill Sanderson – New York Post May 15, 2011

The French political bigshot who heads the International Monetary Fund was arrested for allegedly sodomizing a Manhattan hotel maid today — hauled off an Air France flight just moments before takeoff from Kennedy Airport, police sources said.

Three Port Authority detectives pulled Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the plane’s first-class cabin just two minutes before it was due to depart for Paris, according to police sources.

Strauss-Kahn, 62 — who was expected to challenge Nicholas Sarkozy in the 2012 French presidential election — was turned over to NYPD officers and brought to the Special Victims Unit’s uptown squadroom.

The trouble began around noon, when a 32-year-old housekeeper entered Strauss-Kahn’s room at the Sofitel on West 44th Street — apparently unaware he was still inside.

The married Strauss-Kahn was in his bathroom, said sources. He emerged naked, grabbed her and “he jumps her,” a source said.

Then, Strauss-Kahn allegedly threw the housekeeper on the room’s bed and forced her to perform oral sex on him, said the sources.

The maid managed to break free and ran to a hotel worker to tell what happened, said a source. Soon afterward, Strauss-Kahn got dressed and headed off to Kennedy Airport for his flight to Paris.

When he was approached on the plane by Port Authority cops, he said, “What is this about?” sources said. He was then taken off without handcuffs.

Two law enforcement sources said Strauss-Kahn was trying to flee the US. Police said he left his cellphone and other personal items in the room.

Strauss-Kahn, who had a meeting planned for today with German chancellor Angela Merkel, has a special arrangement with Air France that allows him to get on any flight and sit in first class, the sources said. He was traveling alone.

The NYPD’s Special Victims Unit is investigating the case, the sources said.

The victim was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where she was being treated for trauma.

Strauss-Kahn, a leader of France’s Socialist Party, is a longtime rival to Sarkozy, who was said in a news report today to have kicked off a smear campaign that focused on his lavish lifestyle. It included Strauss-Kahn’s purchase of suits from the same tailor who clothes President Obama.

But Strauss-Kahn seems able to find trouble on his own. In 2008, he publicly admitted to “an error of judgment” for having an affair with an IMF subordinate.

In France’s 2007 vote, Strauss-Kahn lost the Socialist Party nomination to Segolene Royal, who in turn fell to defeat against Sarkozy, leader of the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement.

But Sarkozy, who still sees Strauss-Kahn as his likeliest electoral rival, is believed to have maneuvered him out of France by backing him to head the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.

Strauss-Kahn is married to New York-born Anne Sinclair, a leading French TV journalist. She is his third wife; he has four children from two prior marriages.

A spokeswoman for the US State Department had no immediate comment. IMF did not immediately return calls.

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