Strauss-Kahn's staged sorry irks France

Up to 13.5 million viewers watched TF1’s Sunday news show, the biggest audience since 2005 for a French news broadcast, to see the former presidential hopeful voice “infinite” regret over a liaison he called ill-advised but consensual.

Strauss-Kahn said he regretted his moral error but also decried the way he had been treated as a criminal over a private act he said did not involve force.

“Everything seemed pre-prepared, rehearsed, learned by heart, set up, as if it was pre-recorded,” the left-leaning Liberation daily commented on Monday.

It was the first time Strauss-Kahn spoke at length to TV cameras since the New York sex assault case ended his career as IMF head and wrecked his chances of running in France’s 2012 election, but many found his hand-wringing unconvincing.

Dressed in a dark suit and clearly uncomfortable discussing the nine-minute sexual liaison, Strauss-Kahn brandished a copy of the New York prosecutor’s report to stress he had been cleared of using force.

“DSK: A funny kind of mea culpa,” was the headline in the more mainstream daily Le Parisien.

“His Sunday contrition was half-hearted,” editorialist Vicent Giret wrote in Liberation.

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