Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared in a Paris court Tuesday to try to ban a graphic new book by author Marcela Iacub detailing their affair, saying it was filled with lies.
In "Beauty and the Beast," due to be released on Wednesday, Argentinian-born Iacub says she had a relationship with Strauss-Kahn from January to August 2012, in the midst of the scandal over accusations he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid the previous year.
Strauss-Kahn told the court the work was "despicable and false" and had wreaked "havoc" on his personal life. He said Iacub's aim was simply to make money and added that it targeted a man "who is already down on the ground".
Strauss-Kahn is suing Iacub and her publisher Stock for an attack on his private life and to prevent the book from going on sale.
If a ban is rejected, they will seek for every copy of the book to carry an insert, lawyers Richard Malka and Jean Veil said, without providing details on what they would want it to say.
The 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn is also seeking 100,000 euros ($132,300) in damages and compensation from Iacub and Stock, and a similar amount from magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which carried excerpts from the work.
Veil told the court his client was the victim of a "set-up" and a "trap".
The book touches on the incident in New York and cases in France against Strauss-Kahn, as well as his relationship with Anne Sinclair, his fabulously rich wife of 20 years who announced last July that she had split from her husband.
Iacub's new work is the latest in a long line of books, plays, TV shows and movies on the spectacular fall from grace of a man who was once tipped to become France's next president.
The Socialist politician in December agreed a financial settlement with the hotel maid whose 2011 allegation of sexual assault forced him to resign from the International Monetary Fund.
But he is still being investigated in France as part of a probe into allegations he procured prostitutes for sex parties in Europe and in Washington.
Books are rarely banned in France. In 1996, a French court banned a book by Francois Mitterrand's doctor two days after the Socialist president's death in which the author Claude Gubler said the leader had lied about his cancer since it was diagnosed in 1981.
But the book was re-published in 2005 following a ruling against France by the European court of Human Rights.