Sight of ex-IMF head's wife rewards eager NYC crowd

May 23, 2011 3:47:23 AM PDT
Curious onlookers and a throng of reporters desperate for a glimpse into Dominique Strauss-Kahn's life under house arrest were rewarded with a sighting of the former IMF leader's wife leaving their luxury high-rise.

Anne Sinclair, a prominent French TV journalist before her marriage to Strauss-Kahn, left the couple's temporary apartment in lower Manhattan late Sunday morning and stepped into a waiting SUV.

She returned four hours later, her activities a mystery.

The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn, once a French presidential contender, remains ensconced in the granite skyscraper as cameras and armed guards keep watch. Outside, open-top buses slow down as tourists snap photos of Strauss-Kahn's temporary home. Since Strauss-Kahn was moved there Friday from his Rikers Island jail cell, a crowd of international reporters has been gathered around the clock.

The cost to secure him has been estimated at $200,000 a month.

The funds, which he must cover, will go toward armed surveillance, the installation of cameras and a special bracelet shackled to his ankle that will set off an alarm if he travels too far.

Right now, he's not allowed out of the building at all, but after he's moved to a more permanent location, he can leave for court, doctor visits and weekly religious services. Prosecutors must be notified at least six hours before he goes anywhere. He can't be out between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

It's not clear when Strauss-Kahn will be moved, though prosecutors have said the security company advised that Broadway apartment would be available for only three or four days.

He is accused of attacking a 32-year-old housekeeper on May 14 in his $3,000-a-night hotel suite in midtown Manhattan. The West African immigrant told police he chased her down a hallway in the suite, forced her to perform oral sex and tried to remove her stockings. He is scheduled for arraignment on June 6.

Another Manhattan building rejected him after residents expressed fears about the kind of 24-hour media frenzy being staged on Broadway behind police barricades.

Sinclair, who is wealthy in her own right, has stood by her husband since his arrest, helping secure the $5 million bond the judge added to the bail agreement.

Strauss-Kahn resigned Wednesday as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, an organization that provides billions in loans to stabilize the world economy. France's finance minister, Christine Lagarde, has emerged as a front-runner to replace Strauss-Kahn, but emerging economies have pressed for an end to Europe's traditional stranglehold on the position of IMF managing director.

The IMF has been accepting nominations from member countries for candidates to succeed Strauss-Kahn. Its executive board said it plans to make its selection by the end of June.