Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal: a detailed timeline

Posted: Nov 29, 2011

On May 14 then-IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested at JFK airport and accused of sexually assaulting a maid at a New York hotel. The charges were later dropped, though Strauss-Kahn acknowledges a sexual encounter took place and still faces a civil suit by his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo. An article in the December edition of the New York Review of Books by investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein analyzes room key records, surveillance video and phone and text messages and suggests a possible conspiracy to frame Strauss-Kahn by supporters of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his UMP party. Strauss-Kahn was then the main contender to unseat Sarkozy in the next presidential election. According to the article, Strauss-Kahn had been warned of a plot against him and was worried his main BlackBerry, which he called his "IMF BlackBerry," had been bugged. After the encounter with Diallo, Strauss-Kahn left the Sofitel New York with two carry-on bags, had lunch with his daughter and her new boyfriend, then hopped in a cab to JFK to fly to Paris and then Berlin, where he was scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Once in the cab he realized the IMF BlackBerry was missing. The incident had by this time been reported to the NYPD. Strauss-Kahn called the Sofitel to report the loss of his BlackBerry and gave his flight information to a hotel employee who had "falsely told him that his phone had been found and asked where it could be delivered," allowing New York police to arrest him as his Air France flight was on the tarmac. Strauss-Kahn's IMF BlackBerry was completely disabled less then an hour after the encounter with Diallo and before hotel security called 911. It has never been found. This animation is a timeline based on hotel key card records, video surveillance footage and phone calls and text messages detailed in the New York Review of Books: To see how the evidence Epstein marshalled could be interpreted in a different way, read this contrarian piece in the Independent: