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Video: Famous Disgraced Sex Addict Sues Makers of a Film About Famous Disgraced Sex Addict

5 Substance

Welcome to New York is reportedly the most controversial film at the Cannes Film Festival—no small achievement—and it is already getting an improbable publicity boost from Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The former IMF chief, has announced that his lawyers will sue the film’s director, Abel Ferrara, and others involved in the film for defamation of his character. Welcome to New York is about an aging, overweight, vulgar, raunchy, sordid, misogynistic, sex-addicted predator who, in his celebrated public life, is a major financier angling to run for the French presidency.

The film’s director, Abel Ferrara, acknowledged the obvious: that Strauss-Kahn was partly the “inspiration” for the main character. In 2011, Strauss-Kahn was arrested for raping a maid in his motel room while in New York City on IMF business. The outrage prompted French investigators to uncover Strauss-Kahn’s copious record of similar misdeeds in France. All charges were eventually dismissed following settlements between the multimillionaire and his alleged victims, except for one of “aggravated pimping.”

The lawsuit will almost certainly be thrown out of US courts because of the nation’s First Amendment protections and the film’s own legal disclaimers. Yet the suit does raise the interesting question if it is possible to defame a person who is already utterly disgraced.

Sympathy for Strauss-Kahn was been voiced, however, by Gerard Depardieu who, in an instance of what some might call type-casting, plays the Strauss-Kahn character. “In all of us there is a monster,” Depardieu said. “We all have compulsion. I never questioned the morality of my character. What I saw was that this man was not like me at all. But I do understand impulses and that you can get crazier and crazier as they come.”

Condoms and Viagra were handed out in gift bags at the screening this weekend. The film’s (multilingual) trailer may help explain why.