Nightly News | May 18, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And now to the scandal involving some serious sex crime charges against the head of the International Monetary Fund , Dominique Strauss Kahn . His lawyers here in New York are going to court tomorrow to try and persuade a judge he should be allowed to bail out of Rikers Island jail here in New York . Meanwhile in France , where bad behavior by men is often de rigueur and public figures get to have private lives, there's some rethinking going on. Michelle Kosinski live tonight for us in Paris . Michelle , good evening.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI reporting: Hi, Brian. That initial angry shock here over Strauss Kahn 's arrest, the talk of conspiracy theories have really now evolved into a much closer look at his behavior over the last few years. And in this city where flirtation is almost a part of daily life, a closer look at French society itself. The uproar started with the sight of those handcuffs, that walk for the cameras.
Ms. NICOLE BASHERON: The reaction is shock to everything.
KOSINSKI: And growing. A young journalist, who in the past claimed Dominique Strauss Kahn had sexually attacked her, now regrets not pressing charges nine years ago and is considering doing so. There's a closer look at a one-night affair he had three years ago with a IMF subordinate who described him as having coerced her and having a problem. Another journalist who says Strauss Kahn repeatedly, aggressively offered her interviews in exchange for sex, which she declined. A politician who says Strauss Kahn groped her, and still more, according to writer and historian Nicole Basheron .
Ms. BASHERON: A lot of women are talking to each other, you know, in the political circle, in the media circle, saying they were a witness of the -- they had encounters with him where they could sense it -- he was an aggressive womanizer.
KOSINSKI: Not necessarily criminal, but many here in France say such things are often simply brushed aside.
Unidentified Woman: The debate is good for the women, it's good for them to speak about sexual harassment.
KOSINSKI: A popular online journalist is even asking why didn't the press talk about Strauss Kahn 's private life , that this ought to be a lesson for no longer ignoring certain characteristics.
Ms. BASHERON: The French are opening a conversation about the limit between what is private and public, what is, you know, maybe aggressive courtship, womanizing, and criminal conduct. Where is the border there?
KOSINSKI: And what that border should be between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. One paper said Strauss Kahn 's only problem was the way he treated women. And now the French are asking that question that we in the US seem to have had to ask many times recently, for such an intelligent, successful man, the front-runner to be the next French president , if this happened the way his accuser says it did, how could he have risked everything like this? Brian :
WILLIAMS: Michelle Kosinski in Paris for us tonight. Michelle , thanks.