DSK Book Ban: French Court to Make a Decision (Updated)
UPDATE: In a decision issued late Tuesday, the French court ruled against an outright ban of the tell-all book about disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief and former presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn by his former mistress, but said that all copies must carry a disclaimer about the content. Strauss-Kahn will also receive $98,000 (€75,000) in damages.
"The limits of freedom of expression have been exceeded and the right to freedom of establishment cannot prevail on violations of privacy," the court said in its ruling.
Author Marcela Iacub and her publisher, Stock, must pay $65,000 (€50,000) of the damage award, while the Nouvel Observateur, a weekly that published excerpts of the book last week, must pay an additional $33,000 (€25,000). The magazine must also publish the disclaimer on its front page.
The ruling followed a morning hearing to prevent the book from going on sale tomorrow. The book was scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday, but that is likely due to be delayed.
Strauss-Kahn appeared in a Paris court Tuesday morning in an attempt to legally ban the book, titled Beauty and the Beast, by author Marcela Iacub that details her affair with the politician in the aftermath of the sexual assault charges that saw him booted from the IMF in 2011. The book is due to be released Wednesday, and the court will decide Tuesday if it should go on sale or be blocked.
The Argentinian journalist carried on a seven-month affair with Strauss-Kahn last year. Strauss-Kahn told the court that the book is “despicable and false” and accused Iacub of seducing him with the specific aim of writing a book about him for her financial gain. He said the book has “caused havoc” in his personal life.
Strauss-Kahn is never named specifically in the book, but the author confirmed in an interview to the Nouvel Observateur that it is indeed Strauss-Kahn, known in France as DSK. In the interview, she also admitted to mixing some fiction in with fact. Strauss-Kahn is seeking a ban on sales in France, as well as $132,000 (€100,000) in damages from the author and her publisher, Stock, as well as an additional €100,000 from the Nouvel Observateur for publishing excerpts from it.
If the ban is rejected, Strauss-Kahn is asking that every copy of the book carry a disclaimer, though he was not specific in what he would want the insert to say. Stock countered that it would not be physically possible to place the insert in the 40,000 copies already shipped to stores and due to go on sale tomorrow.
A feature film depicting the story of DSK’s private life in the wake of the New York case starring Gerard Depardieu as Strauss-Kahn, Isabel Adjani as his now-estranged wife Anne Sinclair by director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) was announced last August.
The court is expected to announce its decision at 7.30 pm local time.