Former IMF Chief Sues Over Sex Addict Insinuations In New Film

By McCarton Ackerman 05/23/14

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has filed suit against the makers of Gerard Depardieu's new film for defamation because of its similarities to sexual assault charges in 2011.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn.jpg
Strauss-Kahn in 2011. Shutterstock

No stranger to controversy, French actor Gérard Depardieu's latest role is that of a sex addict in the upcoming film Welcome to New York and it’s leading to a lawsuit from the man whose downfall inspired the project, former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn resigned from the International Monetary Fund in 2011 after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault. He later settled with her out of court in exchange for criminal charges being dropped. Now three years later, he’s suing the makers of Welcome to New York - on grounds of defamation because he believes the subject matter is similar to the accusations against him in 2011. Reporters at a recent screening during the Cannes Film Festival were given gift bags containing condoms and Viagra that were labeled “Dirty Sex Kit,” a direct reference to Strauss-Kahn’s initials.

"This happened three years ago and he was cleared," said Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Jean Veil. "He is frightened, sickened [by the film]. He has instructed his lawyers, myself, to make a complaint for defamation based on accusations of rape, on the insinuations made throughout this film. We have the right to fiction, but not the right to accuse."

However, the film has been advertised as fiction and opens with a legal disclaimer stating this. The film’s creator, Abel Ferrara, himself no stranger to controversy, stood by his artistic decisions and said he had the right to choose his subjects.

"I'm not on trial," he said. "I'm an artist. I have freedom of speech. I'm from America, I'm from the country of the free, land of the free and home of the brave."

Check out the trailer to Welcome to New York:

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.