Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Friday demanded to be questioned by judges investigating an alleged prostitution ring, after media reports linked him to the case.
Claiming he is the victim of a "media lynching", the 62-year-old French politician said through his lawyers that he wants to address allegations he took part in orgies with prostitutes in Washington and Paris.
"Such a situation, which everyone can see is unhealthy, sensationalist and not without political overtones, cannot continue," Strauss-Kahn's legal team said in a statement.
"Dominique Strauss-Kahn states once again that he is ready to explain himself, not before the uncertain court of public opinion, but before those who are conducting the judicial inquiry."
With the scandal still making daily headlines, the lawyers' statement said their client would like to be interviewed "as quickly as possible."
Strauss-Kahn resigned from the International Monetary Fund in May after a New York hotel chambermaid accused him of sexual assault and attempted rape and he was arrested.
The US case against him eventually collapsed over doubts about the alleged victim's testimony, but not before it had destroyed Strauss-Kahn's hopes of running as the Socialist candidate in next year's French presidential race.
On his return to France he faced new allegations.
First, a young writer accused him of attempting to rape her in 2003 but, while prosecutors said there was prima facie evidence of sexual assault, the case was too old to pursue.
Now, Strauss-Kahn has been implicated in an entirely separate investigation into an alleged prostitution ring said to have operated out of luxury hotels in the northern French city of Lille.
Magistrates have already charged several leading local figures with organising the ring and there are suspicions that a construction company executive used his firm's money to entertain guests at sex parties.