French writer Tristane Banon brings second rape case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

In an extraordinary new twist to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn saga, a young French journalist and writer will today formally accuse the former IMF chief of attempting to rape her.

Five days after attempted rape charges against the former French presidential front-runner began to founder in New York, Tristane Banon, 31, will bring a formal complaint in Paris that Mr Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her during an interview in 2002.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers immediately counter-attacked. They said the attack was "imaginary" and he would sue the young woman.

The announcement by Ms Banon's lawyer dropped a new bombshell into the frenzied debate in France on Mr Strauss-Kahn's political future if he escapes a trial in the US. His Socialist party colleagues and rivals indicated yesterday that they were ready to bend the rules and allow the former IMF chief time to "recover" and then make an entry into their presidential primary campaign. Hours later, however, Ms Banon's lawyer, David Koubbi, said his client would deliver a formal accusation of attempted rape to the French state prosecution service today.

Mr Koubbi insisted that the decision to press charges was made in the middle of last week. In other words, it was not influenced by the official doubts voiced in New York last Friday about the credibility of the chambermaid who accused Mr Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her in a Manhattan hotel. Ms Banon is the goddaughter of Mr Strauss-Kahn's second wife and the daughter of a Socialist party councillor. At the time of the alleged attack, she was 22 years old and a close friend of DSK's daughter, Camille.

Ms Banon and her lawyer came forward just after Mr Strauss-Khan's arrest in New York, but withdrew, saying that they did not want to be "exploited" by the American justice system.

The young woman first recounted her alleged experiences on a French TV chat show in 2007, describing the Socialist former finance minister as "like a chimpanzee in rut", although Mr Strauss-Kahn's name was "beeped".

Ms Banon told the show that Mr Strauss-Khan gave her an interview in 2002 to help her to research a book about political failures. She said: "He wanted to hold my hand and said: 'I can't go on unless you hold my hand'. Then it was my arm and then further than that. It all ended very badly... very, very violently. We scuffled on the ground. I kicked him several times. He undid my bra and he tried to pull down my jeans. As we were fighting, I used the word 'rape' to try to scare him but it didn't scare him."

Later, after she had fought him off, she said Mr Strauss-Kahn sent her a text message which read: "So, I scare you, do I?"

However, she was persuaded by her mother not to press charges.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teacher require...

KS1 Teacher

£21500 - £31500 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work...

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style