The French media scorned what it called an insincere and staged TV apology by Dominique Strauss-Kahn for his sexual encounter with a New York hotel maid, with many noting he left the door ajar for a eventual political comeback.
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 commented on Monday.
“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. “When you turned off the TV, you had a furious desire to move on to something else.”
A Paris office worker, who gave his name as Jean-Marie, told Reuters Television: “It didn’t seem very sincere, to be honest. It seemed prepared and a tad hypocritical.”