PARIS - The ex-wife of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn says she knew nothing about his penchant for sex parties which has left him facing a possible ten-year prison sentence for pimping.
Anne Sinclair, a wealthy heiress who was until recently one of France's best-known television news anchors, left Strauss-Kahn after he was forced to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund following his 2011 arrest for an alleged sexual assault on a New York hotel maid.
Criminal charges in the case were dropped and at the end of 2012, Strauss-Kahn settled a civil suit brought by the maid by paying her undisclosed damages, which reportedly exceeded $1.5 million (S$1.88 million).
His former wife is thought to have helped him raise the funds for the damages payment and his legal bills.
Sinclair, who has rarely spoken publicly about the affair, has told France 2 television that she was unaware of the libertine side to the personality of a man who was, until his arrest, a strong contender to become president of France.
"Listen, you can believe me or not believe me, but I did not know," Sinclair says in an interview due to be broadcast on Tuesday evening.
"When I married Dominique, I knew he was a charmer, that he was a seducer. That much I knew," she said.
Sinclair admitted that she heard rumours about what "DSK" might be up to, but claims she paid no heed.
"Rumours are made to destroy, to kill, to damage - so I ignored them," she says.
"I had doubts, the doubts you can have within a couple and often, or sometimes, I would ask him if things were true or not. He knew how to deny them and how to reassure me." Sinclair also says that she does not believe for one minute the allegations made by the New York hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo.
Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York triggered a number of investigations into his sexual conduct, the most serious of which was known as the "Carlton Affair" and centred on sex parties he attended at the Carlton Hotel in the French city of Lille.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers insist he had no idea the women taking part were prostitutes. But the prosecution says he was central to the organisation of what amounted to orgies and, last August, a judge sent Strauss-Kahn and 12 others for trial on charges of aggravated pimping as part of an organised gang.
Whilst awaiting trial, Strauss-Kahn has found work as an advisor to the Serbian government and the story of his spectacular fall from grace has been made into a film, "Welcome to New York", starring Gerard Depardieu.