PARIS, (Reuters) – Anne Sinclair, wife of the disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is seeking to relaunch a previously stellar journalism career as the leading light for the new French version of U.S. news-and-opinion website The Huffington Post.
Sinclair, a multi-millionaire left-winger whose prime-time news interviews and trademark mohair tops enchanted as many as 12 million viewers in her heyday, has picked up the baton after more than a decade off-screen, this time as editorial director of “Le Huffington Post”, a French-flavoured offshoot of the site started by Arianna Huffington (www.huffingtonpost.com).
At a news conference to mark the website’s launch, Sinclair, 63, fielded a few timid questions about the venture’s business model, before fielding, unflinchingly, a barrage of questions about how objectively the site would cover further developments in the sex scandal that halted her husband’s IMF career and his ambitions of becoming France’s next president.
“I don’t think it’ll be the core news story of 2012 but if it were it would be treated as such,” said a beaming Sinclair. “There’s no conflict of interest.”
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the once globe-trotting boss of the International Monetary Fund, was days from declaring himself a candidate in this year’s French presidential election when he was arrested last May 14 on charges that he tried to rape a New York hotel maid. The charges were later dropped.
While New York prosecutors let him off the hook and another sex assault complaint in France was shelved shortly afterwards, Strauss-Kahn’s name keeps cropping up in the media in relation to a judicial investigation into prostitution rings in the north of France, leaving his reputation in tatters even if it is not illegal in France to visit prostitutes.
His lawyers have launched lawsuits against several magazines and newspapers and also complain that, while waiting to explain himself to investigators handling the prostitution probe, he is the victim of a media lynching.
Sinclair, an art heiress who married him in 1991 and stood beside the now-redundant Strauss-Kahn throughout his downfall, said she had halted her “Sept sur Sept” TV programme in 1997 to avoid a conflict of interest when her husband became finance minister in the left-wing government of the time.
“It will not have escaped you that today my husband has no public duties,” Sinclair said.
“I do not mix private and public life.”