Dominique Strauss-Kahn has failed to have a kiss-and-tell book by an old mistress banned but won a court order insisting a card outlining his objections should be individually placed inside every copy of the book sold.
The French former chief of the International Monetary Fund, who was forced to resign after a sex scandal in New York, gained a partial victory following a court hearing just 24 hours before the sexually explicit book in which he is described as "half man, half pig" was to be released.
He also won €50,000 (£43,700) in damages from the author, his former lover Marcela Iacub, and from her publisher, as well as a further €25,000 from the news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which was also ordered to devote half its front page to the court order as punishment.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers had asked for €100,000 in damages from each party and a full front-page publication of the ruling.
Iacub's book Belle et Bête, which can be translated as Beauty and Beast or Beautiful and Stupid, was written after the author's seven-month affair with DSK, as he is known, between January and August last year after his political career had been destroyed.
Although Iacub did not name Strauss-Kahn in the book and has claimed some of its more graphic sex scenes were "fiction", she told Le Nouvel Observateur that he was indeed the book's protagonist.
The disgraced former minister, who was the Socialist Party's presidential hope, was forced to resign as head of the IMF in 2011 after being arrested in New York and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. He denied the charges and was later cleared after doubts were raised over Guinean-born Nafissatou Diallo's credibility when she was found to have misled officials in her immigration application. However, DSK was forced to settle a civil case with Diallo, reported to be more than $1m.
On Tuesday Strauss-Kahn turned up at the Palais de Justice in Paris to express his "shock" at what he described as a "despicable and false" book.
The 63-year-old said he was horrified by the "dishonest" way in which the intimacy of his private life had been attacked by someone who was "out to make money".
"Is anything allowed in the pursuit of gain?" he said, claiming the book was tantamount to "shooting a man already down on the ground" and had devastated his private life, his family and his children.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers read an email from Iacub to him claiming she had been manipulated by "colleagues", and that she was suffering a guilty conscience because she had "made believe I was in love with you, mad about you". The court was told the message, which she asked DSK to delete, concluded: "I'm sorry."
Iacub's lawyers told the court she could not remember the email and that she stood by her work, taking "full responsibiliity" for a book of "love and passion". She was "manipulated by no one", her defence lawyer said.
In a letter to Le Nouvel Observateur DSK attacked the magazine for publishing extracts from the book saying it "made him sick". His estranged wife, heiress and broadcast journalist Anne Sinclair also wrote an open letter to the left-of-centre publication.
"How could you stoop so low? You have given credit to the manoeuvres of a perverse and dishonest woman driven by her fascination for the sensational and the lure of money," she wrote.
Last week the magazine revealed Iacub visited Sinclair while writing the book.
"It wasn't a very loyal thing to do, but there were things I didn't understand about DSK's psychology … the conversation with Anne Sinclair was fundamental," Iacub said.
"She was very kind, but I understood at what point that she was convinced that she and her husband – because I remind you that they have still not divorced – are part of a caste of masters of the world.
"She said something, that I report in the book: 'There's nothing wrong in getting a blow job from the cleaning woman.'
"But for her, the world divides into masters and servants, between the dominant and the dominated, and it's normal. This terrified me a bit, as if we were still living in a society under the ancien régime."
As he left the
Palais de Justice on Tuesday, Strauss-Kahn said: "I just want one thing, to be left alone."
Strauss-Kahn is under investigation for his role in a vice ring in northern France involving a network of prostitutes in northern France, but has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
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