Anne Sinclair, the wife of former International Monetary Fund chief and French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has spoken to the media for the first time in an interview with French Elle.
In the interview, Sinclair blasted feminists who criticized her for standing by her husband — accused by a New York hotel maid of rape last May — saying: "Leave your husband if you want, that's your problem."
The Daily Beast wrote that Sinclair — a millionaire heiress and well-known journalist in France — was preparing for a professional comeback as editorial director of the French Huffington Post site launching Jan. 23.
She had given up her journalism career when Strauss-Kahn was appointed managing director of the IMF. However, the Daily Beast cites Sinclair's acknowledgment that she "wouldn’t have been in a position to become the French Arianna Huffington if her husband’s career at the IMF and his political ambitions hadn’t collapsed."
"I am neither a saint, nor a victim," she said in the exclusive interview with Elle. "I am a free woman."
"No one knows what happens in the privacy of a couple and I refuse anyone the right to judge mine. I feel free to take my own decisions and decide on my own actions. I decide on my own life."
She added that: "I would like to say that I, too, felt a great violence when certain self-proclaimed feminists unleashed themselves on me.
"I am a feminist, I always have been; I always will be. I have been part of all of the battles, on abortion, on equality at work, on the dignity of women here and elsewhere, on the role of women in public life. I think I have done at least as much as packs of ‘feminists’ for the advancement of women in men’s fields...
"To be feminist is to battle for all that; it is not to interfere in the private life of other women, to decide in their place what is or isn’t moral."
According to a poll published in Elle in September, 54 per cent of women approved Sinclair's decision to stand by Strauss-Kahn despite the rape allegations and "revelations of his serial use of prostitutes," Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.
But the same poll found that 74 per cent would have left him, if faced with the same situation.