Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Would Your Friends Be Shocked?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2011 May 24

The latest high profile sex-scandal surrounding the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahan, brings to mind comments from a previous guest on the Focus on the Family radio program.

Steve Farrar, author of Point Man: How a Man Can Lead His Family, once wrote:

"If you were accused of sexual indiscretion, would your family, friends and co-workers fall down on the floor laughing because the charge was so ridiculous?"

It’s always shocking and sad when a person of influence is accused of a violent crime, as Strauss-Kahan has been for allegedly raping a hotel maid in New York City. But whenever such a thing occurs, you can often find friends of the accused dismissing the charges as ludicrous and far-fetched.

But not this time.

By most accounts, none of Strauss-Kahn’s friends are laughing or shocked about the serious charges he’s facing. In fact, many of them are saying that the charges are very consistent with his reputation as "The Great Seductor," a label that he’s even perpetuated himself.

Ironically, almost one year to the date of the arrest, a writer in London’s Daily Telegraph reviewed a book about Strauss-Kahan. It was titled, Secrets of a Presidential Contender, and was published in 2010:

It (the book) claims the 61-year-old, who is married to the French television presenter Anne Sinclair, has had a string of extra-marital affairs and that there are photographs of him exiting a wife-swapping club.

The author ... calls him a "pleasure seeker" whose "eye for women is sharp as a laser." She writes: "After identifying his prey...he is direct and makes no concessions."

[French president] Mr Sarkozy was said to have warned the former minister before he left to take up his IMF managing director post in New York in 2007: "Over there they don't joke about this sort of thing." DSK, as he is known in France, was soon accused of an affair with Piroska Nagy, a Hungarian born economist at the IMF.

But Manuel Valls, a fellow Socialist, is quoted in the book as saying: "Even in a country so famously relaxed about adultery, this women business could bring him down in mid-flight."

Prescient words to be sure, but let’s turn the topic back to you and me, revisiting Steve Farrar’s pointed question. If the same charges were lodged against you, would your friends be surprised?

And perhaps even more practically, if you’re married, what are you doing to prevent and hedge against the risk of an extra-marital affair?

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