Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was applauded Monday as he apologized to the institution's staff in his first return visit since charges of sexual assault against him were dropped last week.
Strauss-Kahn, who was with his wife, French TV personality Anne Sinclair, drove himself to the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and met briefly with his successor Christine Lagarde.
The IMF said the visit by Strauss-Kahn was personal and arranged at his request. The 62-year-old who had been eyed as France’s next president, also privately addressed an auditorium packed with IMF staffers.
"He received a very warm welcome," said Paulo Nogueira Batista, who represents Brazil. "It reflects the fact that he is very much appreciated in the institution."
Another witness, who asked not to be identified, said Strauss-Kahn didn’t discuss the attempted rape case involving a maid at a midtown hotel, but he noted that the justice system had been fair.
Last week, prosecutors asked that the charges against Strauss-Kahn be dismissed after they lost faith in the credibility of accuser Nafissatou Diallo, a 32-year-old Guinea immigrant. She is still pressing a civil case against Strauss-Kahn.
Strauss-Kahn led the IMF as managing director for four years before he resigned on May 18 after his arrest.