Strauss-Kahn called women 'equipment' in text messages

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Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn admitted to police that he referred to young women guests at sex parties as 'equipment' in text messages, according to a report on Wednesday.

The respected daily Le Monde said it had seen a confidential transcript of Strauss-Kahn's police questioning from before he was charged with 'aggravated pimping', in which he confirmed he had used the 'inappropriate' language.

Strauss-Kahn's legal team reacted with fury to the leak, accusing Le Monde of quoting selectively from the document and declaring they would lodge a legal complaint with authorities alleging their client's rights had been violated.

Strauss-Kahn admits he attended a string of orgies in various cities, but insists he had no idea that many of the female guests were paid to attend, telling police in the reported interview that he may have been 'naive'.

Prosecutors, however, believe that he knew the women had been procured and paid for by executives who corruptly charged the parties to company expenses. On Monday they charged Strauss-Kahn with complicity in a vice ring.

"Do you want to (can you?) come to a great sexy nightclub in Madrid with me (and some equipment) on July 4?" Strauss-Kahn once asked, in a text message to a businessman friend who has also been charged in the same case.

In another message he referred to a 'gift' and in another to 'luggage'.

According to Le Monde's account of his recent interrogation, Strauss-Kahn admitted he had used what he now admits were 'unsuitable and inappropriate' terms to refer to 'a person of the female sex'.

The report confirms that Strauss-Kahn's public defence, that he had no idea that any of the women at the parties were paid sex workers, is the same he had given investigators before the charges against him were lodged.

He also insisted in his statement none of the women was subjected to force or pressure to take part in sex, insisting that statements from some of them to the contrary were 'lies', 'mistaken' or made 'under pressure'.

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