Strauss-Kahn: The Three Wives of the Embattled IMF Chief

Strauss-Kahn: The Three Wives of the Embattled IMF Chief
When the news broke that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 62, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund , had been arrested for sexual assault and attempted rape in New York City, his wife Anne Sinclair wasted no time in declaring her unquestioned belief in his innocence. The heiress to an art-gallery fortune, Sinclair, also 62, is a celebrity in her own right, having been an award-winning radio-and-television journalist in France. She has stood by him in the recent past. In 2008, Strauss-Kahn was reprimanded by the IMF after his relationship with the Hungarian economist Piroska Nagy became a public scandal.

Sinclair is Strauss-Kahn’s third wife. He was first married in 1967 to Hlne Dumas, whom he met in 1963 in the south of France when she was 16 and he was 14, when he was in the equivalent of 12th grade. When his parents opposed their living together, the pair got married. They would have a daughter, Vanessa. He and Dumas appeared to be inseparable as Strauss-Kahn became active in leftist political circles and befriended many of the people who’d later become Socialist Party heavyweights like himself. He also became acquainted with many who would go into business and then support the Socialist Party financially.

As part of that networking, Strauss-Kahn met a communications expert who inspired him to undergo a radical makeover in 1983 that included him shaving his beard, losing his eyeglasses and updating his wardrobe. That expert was Brigitte Guillemette. And in 1984, he married her after what is described as a civil but rapid rupture with his childhood sweetheart Dumas. The divorce, however, did not sit well with others. Many of Strauss-Kahn and Dumas’ friends chose to continue seeing her while avoiding him and Guillemette. Strauss-Kahn and Guillemette would have a daughter, Camille, in 1985.

Another rupture would follow after Strauss-Kahn was introduced to Sinclair, a rising TV journalist. Strauss-Kahn was introduced to the then married Sinclair in 1989 by advisors feeling he needed more professional media coaching. He reportedly fell for her immediately, calling her several times a day. Both kept their relationship under wraps for quite awhile — though that didn’t prevent another notorious ladies man, then President Franois Mitterrand, from catching on to the secret affair and commenting about it to associates. Strauss-Kahn and Sinclair finally married in 1991 after divorcing their respective spouses.