A report from overnight on the French news site Atlantico.fr claims French authorities have received the results of a New York Police Department DNA test showing that semen found on the clothing of a Sofitel Hotel maid belonged to former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The "Atlantico Exclusive," translated into English by Google and picked up today by The Telegraph, cites no source but the vaguely identified NYPD reports, so it's not clear how reliable it is. But it's well-known that DNA will play a key role in the New York District Attorney's case against Strauss-Kahn, and reports of everything from blood to semen to spit found in the room have been made public. Atlantico claims the DNA test results will be made public by authorities "in the coming hours," but so far, the New York Police Department has been silent on the topic.
Atlantico is a very new site (it was founded on February 28) and according to French newspaper Le Figaro, is "inspired by the Huffington Post." According to Le Monde, Atlantico broke the "Porsche-gate" story on April 28, in which a photograph of the Socialist leader Strauss-Kahn getting into a Porsche caused scandal. Funded to the tune of €1 million ($1.4 million), Atlantico is 51 percent owned by a group of five French journalists (a company called Talmont Media), and 49 percent by a holding company called Free Mind, whose investors include Iliad owner Xavier Niel, entrepreneur Marc Simoncini, and Arnaud Dassier. (Needless to saying, it has no link to this site or Atlantic Media.) Le Monde notes that Dassier advised French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his 2007 campaign, though he reportedly "distanced himself" from Sarkozy in 2010, calling him a "low-tech president." Before the current scandal, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was seen as a challenger to Sarkozy for the presidency.
Atlantico's editor in chief and part owner, Jean-Sébastien Ferjou, worked as a tech journalist from 1997 to 2001, and then as a producer until he helped found Talmont Media last year, according to a Google translation of his LinkedIn page. He hired high-profile bloggers Gilles Klein, former France-Soir editor Christian de Villeneuve, and former LCI political correspondent Anita Hauser.
Update: NBC New York has also reported this evening that "sources familiar with the case" had confirmed a DNA match with "material on the shirt," but shied away from identifying the material as semen. That report also said DNA testing on other evidence continued.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.