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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Breaks Silence in First Interview Since His Arrest

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

The former chief of the IMF admitted to a "moral mistake," but denied any violent acts in his interview with France's TF1.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn broke his silence on Sunday night during a live and highly anticipated TV segment on France’s leading network TF1 where the disgraced politician recognized a “moral mistake” in French, but denied any violence against his accuser.

The interview marked the first time the politician has spoken publicly since his arrest last May after allegations that he assaulted a hotel maid in New York City.Feminist groups in France organized a small protest outside of TF1’s Paris headquarters, but the real drama remained on camera as Strauss-Kahn apologized for his "faute morale," or “moral mistake” in French, that he admits cost him a chance in France’s next presidential election in 2012.

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“What happened was not only an inappropriate relation, but more than that, a mistake vis-à-vis my wife, my children and my friends, the French,” he said to French journalist Claire Chazal during the country’s popular 8 p.m. nightly news program. He added “I regret it infinitely,” but accused maid Nafissatou Diallo of lying.

He spoke of the NYC hotel incident, telling the public: “What happened involved neither violence nor constraint nor aggression nor any offense, it’s the prosecutor who said it, not me.”

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Strauss-Kahn, clad in a sober dark blazer and navy tie, remained somber on air and told audiences that he was “happy to be able to express myself.”
He added: “I am not proud and I regret it, and I think that I haven’t finished regretting it.”

New York prosecutors dropped the criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn last month, but the publicly humiliated politician still faces a lawsuit against him brought by Diallo.

When asked if he would return to the political arena, Strauss-Kahn said calmly that he plans to first "take time to reflect," but added later: "We will see."

The broadcast on TF1 was expected to attract a record number of viewers.