Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Did Edward Jay Epstein really interview DSK?

Did Edward J. Epstein really get an exclusive interview with Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the Pavillon de la Reine hotel on Place des Vosges in Paris for two hours on 13 April 2012? 
In a piece for the Guardian based on the interview, Epstein cites DSK talking about a conspiracy by his political enemies, presumably Nicolas Sarkozy, who, he says, may not have set him up, but distorted, amplified and exploited his encounter with chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo at the Manhattan Sofitel. 
Anonymous people described in the French press as the "entourage" of DSK have claimed that Epstein did not have such an interview. This morning we see what may be one reason for the attempt to dial back: DSK's wife Anne Sinclair will not be asked to comment on the second round of French elections on BFMTV, as she was for the first. The reason given: DSK's charges in the Guardian interview make it impossible to have confidence in her objectivity. 
This may well be unfair to Sinclair. But it is even more unfair to impugn Epstein's reputation with anonymous non-sources. Following is my email to him on Monday asking for clarification, and his response:
April 30, 2012
Christopher Dickey

Dear Mr. Epstein,
       You have doubtless seen this semi-anonymous assault on your professional ethics:
       As I said in the column I wrote about "Three Days" on Sunday, I would take issue with a lot of the inferences you've made about the DSK case, and question some of the questions that don't appear to have been asked, but I think the story in Le Parisien, which seems to have been planted by DSK's people after they realized what a shit-storm he'd created, is hardly credible. Google shows me it is now widespread in the French press, and all the headlines are essentially negative:
       I will be writing about the case tomorrow and would like to include in that article, or perhaps in a separate piece for the Daily Beast, your rebuttal to this accusation.
       All the best, Chris

Apr 30 (2 days ago)

Hi Chris
   As for your question, No one is necessarily inaccurate, This is what happened:
1) I did interview DSK.  I spoke with him for 2 hours on April 13,2012 in Paris.
2) When I arranged to speak to him, it was  for the epilogue “Sliding Doors: of the book I was publishing. By the time I left for Paris on April 12th, the entire book had been written,  copy-edited, and sent out for first serial rights to the Guardian.
3) At the time, I had an arrangement with the Guardian to publish extracts of the book and other material regarding my DSK investigation, athough I did not know the  form the publication  would take, and I did not discuss that with DSK.
4) I wrote my report on my interview with DSK for the Guardian after I saw DSK and did not discuss it with him (other than  short emails  to check a few specific facts, such as did the hotel provide complimentary champagne.)
5) My interview in the Guardian is an accurate description of my conversation with him.

Relevant links:

Epstein's Guardian piece:

One of several items on BFMTV and Anne Sinclair:

My piece on the Epstein book and Guardian article:

My piece on the court decision not to dismiss the civil case against DSK, which also includes Epstein's response to the allegations about his DSK interview:

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