Why Anne Sinclair Stands by Strauss-Kahn

Is she in love, a Lady Macbeth, or just French?

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No one jumped to Dominque Strauss-Kahn's defense as quickly as his wife, the famous French journalist Anne Sinclair. When Strauss-Kahn was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid, Sinclair jumped on a plane, reportedly with one million dollars ready for his bail. "I don't believe for one second the accusations made against my husband. I have no doubt that his innocence will be established," she has said.

As Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest at 71 Broadway, according to the latest reports from the New York Post and Daily News (and not the 15 Maiden Lane building reporters thronged on Friday evening), the media has been struggling to understand why Sinclair has not emerged as yet another (alleged) victim in this story. Here is a roundup of theories:

French women are just more forgiving. The New York Times posted a Room for Debate column that asked "Are French Women More Tolerant?" The piece referenced an infamous quote from 2006 by Sinclair about Strauss-Kahn's image as a great seducer: “I am quite proud! For a political man, it is important to seduce.” And when Strauss-Kahn admitted to having an affair in 2008 with an IMF employee, she shrugged it off on her blog and wrote: "We love each other like the very first day."

She is highly ambitious. According to the Times, Sinclair was the "driving force" behind Strauss-Kahn's political ambitions, sacrificing her career in television in 1997 for her husband's to avoid conflicts of interest. But by no means was she uninvolved: she writes regularly about international politics on her blog (which has not been updated since the news of Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual assault broke). She was also their source of funding. Her money was inherited from her grandfather, the art dealer Paul Rosenberg, and funded their lavish lifestyle "with two extraordinary apartments in Paris, a $4 million house in Georgetown and a riad in Marrakesh."

Her motivation, the Times suggests, arose in part out of religion. “She always wanted to prove that, 75 years after Léon Blum, the French were capable of electing a Jew,” a friend told Le Monde. “In her eyes, that would be a formidable revenge on history.”

She is a romantic. Perhaps in an attempt to offer an alternative perspective to the view of Sinclair as Lady Macbeth, both the Times and The New Yorker look to a blog post Sinclair wrote about the Royal Wedding.

I have to say that I did not share the febrile madness, nor the details we were swamped with, nor the fascination for this romantic history from the county of marvels. But I can understand those who didn’t want to miss out on a crumb of it. It is as if, simply put, we were all like children who, before going to sleep, want a fairy tale, the story of a princess and a dream, because the reality of life returns all too quickly….

Neither publication manages to parse much meaning from this passage. But somehow it softens her image.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.