Getting an eyeful:
Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut
Who ever would have suspected that Stanley Kubrick's final masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut, was a documentary? But it's starting to look less like a movie and more like a simple slice of life. Case in point: Former IMF boss and accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn isn’t just back in the headlines today, he’s also back in jail. The French press is reporting that he was arrested in the northern French town of Lille this morning for his alleged participation in “organized criminal procuration,” i.e. pimping, and conspiracy to embezzle company funds. This all comes in connection with nude sex parties the 62-year-old former presidential hopeful celebrated at luxury hotels in Paris, Vienna, and Washington DC, usually in connection with IMF events.
The Belgian call girls, together with the travel and hotel expenses for the lavish, “Eyes Wide Shut”-like events, were paid for by two French businessmen from Lille, Fabrice Paszkowski and David Roquet, who were likely using the sex to bribe the mighty Strauss-Kahn for favors. The call girls were allegedly paid between 500 and 1,600 euros for their services. Paskowski and Roquet have organized several of these parties in the past, and have likely been providing DSK with a steady stream of discreet sex workers during his visits to Lille. There, the local police chief regularly hired prostitutes, some of them underage, to service him - DSK has been known to cavort with four at once in the jacuzzi. Last November, a prostitute who claimed to have celebrated eleven orgies with the economist, testified to police that he "showed exceptional energy" and normally had sex "with every girl in the room." At these parties, Strauss-Kahn "was treated like a messiah."
Under French law, it is legal to have sex with a woman over the age of eighteen in exchange for money, but it is unlawful to pimp. The French authorities have already shut down three luxury hotels implicated in the pimping affair over the past year.
Strauss-Kahn will likely be held for forty-eight, possibly up to ninety-six hours while the court decides whether or not to prosecute. The man himself claims he was unaware the women were prostitutes (a very tall tale indeed) and has asked for a complete investigation to clear his name.
Will it be as easy as that? He already has a small army of lawyers and public relations experts at his beck and call to scrub is besmirched reputation. If he asked me, I’d suggest buying a gallon of Clorox and take it from there.
While the seemingly endless DSK saga is distasteful, it nonetheless opens a window onto the sensibilities and corruptions of the rich and powerful, a.k.a. "The One Percent," who are increasingly laying claim to the planet we all share. In researching his case, I feel more than a little like Tom Cruise's "Dr. Bill Harford" on his wide-eyed odyssey through a phantasmagorical vision of a city he no longer recognizes. I, for one, want to know more about this shadow world. Not for titillation - I can't think of a less titillating plutocrat than Monsieur DSK - but rather to get some idea of where all that money is going. I'd like to hold on to some of mine, if it's okay with you.