Behind Strauss-Kahn, a Formidable Wife

Anne Sinclair is all but French royalty
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2011 9:12 AM CDT
Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss Kahn exits State Supreme court with her daughter Camille, Thursday, May 19, 2011, in New York.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – She's a former journalistic powerhouse, the dazzling daughter of a renowned and moneyed family, and the driving force behind her husband's political career who is now mired in his staggering downfall: And she's not Maria Shriver. Anne Sinclair was all but French royalty when she married Dominque Strauss-Kahn in 1991, a "combination of Charlie Rose and Barbara Walters" who interviewed everyone from Gorbachev to Madonna and named her son for close pal Elie Wiesel. The New York Times profiles the formidable woman now embedded in Strauss-Kahn's defense.

Sinclair's family were Jews who fled the Nazis, and her grandfather, the art dealer Paul Rosenberg who hobnobbed with Picasso, left enough cash to bankroll a lavish lifestyle for her and Strauss-Kahn. She left her career in 1997 to avoid conflicts of interest with Strauss-Kahn's rising star, and was widely expected to become France's first lady next year. “She always wanted to prove that, 75 years after Léon Blum, the French were capable of electing a Jew," a friend says. And she apparently didn't mind her husband's womanizing, telling a reporter in 2006, "I’m even proud of it. It’s important to seduce, for a politician. As long as he is still attracted to me, and I to him, it is sufficient." For now, she's in New York bankrolling Strauss-Kahn's $1 million bail and finding him an apartment. As she puts it: “I am certain his innocence will be proven.”

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