Anne Sinclair and her horny hubby
Discretion is the better part of valor, as Falstaff used to say, and for journalist Anne Sinclair, the long-suffering wife of world-champion skirt-chaser and former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it is also the essence of her virtue. Finally, more than half a year since her husband’s arrest and imprisonment after allegedly raping an African hotel housekeeper in New York City, Sinclair has not only burst back into journalism as the editor of the French edition of the Huffington Post, but she has also given her first full press interview since those events first hit the fan. In an exclusive interview with editor-in-chief Anne-Cécile Sarfati of Elle magazine, appearing in Paris today, Sinclair – whom a French website named “woman of the year” last December for her stoicism under extreme pressure – answered questions about how she has handled her husband’s scandal and also responded to charges by feminists that she has played the role of shrinking violet – I mean, devoted wife – just a little too convincingly.
How does Sinclair view herself? “I’m neither a saint nor a victim, I am a free woman!” she says. When asked whether one can be a feminist and still support one’s husband unconditionally, she responds: “There is no such thing as unconditional support. One only supports [him] if one has already decided to support him. No one knows what occurs within a couple’s intimacy, and I deny anyone the right to judge my own. I feel free in my judgments, in my actions. I determine my own life in complete independence.”
She admits that many women, particularly feminists, have taken her to task for how devotedly she has stood by her man, Tammy Wynette-style. “If women feel deceived by me, then I’m sorry to say it, but that’s their problem! … I don’t have to understand them, they express positions and feelings, I listen to them, but the idea of allowing others to judge my private life is utterly alien to me.”
“I claim my choices,” she adds. “The notion of people appropriating my life is intolerable to me.” She concludes: “I understand very well that this business attracted a lot of attention and that the press has been all over it. But it seems to me that, in this case, all the dikes protecting one’s private life have been breached.”
Not that her private life is going to be any better protected in the future: American director Abel Ferrara has just announced that he is making a major motion picture about the DSK affair, starring Isabelle Adjani opposite Gérard Depardieu.
But it doesn’t look like Sinclair is losing all that much sleep over her husband's most notorious impropriety. She’s now got bigger fish to fry. She says she regards her return to journalism at the head of the French Huffington Post as “a return to the light.” “It gives me pleasure to return to my profession, in the euphoria of participating in something new. (…) I think I can still bring something to this profession! What worries me is the launching of a newspaper, not being ready in time, the stress, all that. … (But) the professional light is always the most pleasant one.”
So for those of us who have been wondering how – and why – Anne Sinclair puts up with it all, there we have it: It’s her life, it’s her business, life goes on, and for Sinclair, at least, being a woman includes being granted her own discretion to deal her own hand in life as she sees fit. That may not be very satisfying to the rest of us, but who among us wants to start judging her? Are our lives ultimately all that different?
Yes, I know, there are some differences, such as that pesky little detail about the couple’s vast fortune in cash and art – and the fact that Sinclair knew all about her husband’s special interests long before they tied the knot in 1995. But can’t we allow the lady her moment “in the light” for just one day?
May we all experience such a moment - but without the disgusting prelude, if you don't mind.