Strauss-Kahn opens up in new book

PARIS Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:00pm EST

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PARIS (Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn says his sexual encounter with a New York hotel maid was "consensual but stupid" and cost him his chance to be the next French president, according to a biography to be published on Thursday.

The book, written by Michel Taubmann who says Strauss-Kahn confided in him, covers sex scandals that have dogged the former French finance minister even after the U.S. assault case ended his career as IMF head and wrecked his chances of running in France's 2012 election.

"Nothing would have happened if I hadn't had this consensual, but stupid relationship with Nafissatou Diallo," Strauss-Kahn is quoted as saying in the book. "That day, I opened the door to all the other affairs."

Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on May 14 onboard a plane bound for Europe minutes before take-off and charged with attempting to rape Diallo.

Prosecutors eventually dropped all criminal charges, leaving him free to return to his native France. French prosecutors then ruled that a separate sexual assault complaint filed against Strauss-Kahn by a writer involved an incident that happened too long ago for legal action.

"I could have been in a position to be president," Strauss-Kahn is quoted as saying in the book. "Now, I'm no longer in that position, that's all."

He adds that he had an "uninhibited sex life" but says that was not unusual in political and business circles and that he had done nothing illegal.

The media furor around Strauss-Kahn has not stopped with the Diallo case. His name has appeared in media reports on a judicial probe into a prostitution ring in the north of France, known as the Carlton Affair.

That case involves a prostitution ring, discovered this year, that operated in the luxury Carlton Hotel in the city of Lille.

Strauss-Kahn last month asked to speak to investigators in the case to try to end the "dangerous and malicious insinuations."

"In the press, they link my name to prostitution. It's unbearable," he is quoted as saying in the book. "I did go to sex parties, it's true, but usually those who came to these soirees were not prostitutes."

(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Roger Atwood)

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