IMF Director Admits to Workplace Affair

By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director for the International Monetary Fund, apologized to his colleagues yesterday for having an affair with a staff member, but he denied allegations that he had abused his power.

Strauss-Khan, who is 59 and married, is facing an investigation into whether his actions were illegal or improper. The woman with whom he had the affair, Piroska Nagy, a division chief at the IMF, left the fund over the summer with financial compensation, according to sources familiar with the probe.

Nagy said in an interview this summer that she left her job "as part of the normal downsizing at the IMF" and that her severance package was "no more" than her years of service and salary levels had warranted.

"I want to apologize to the staff member concerned for my error in initiating this relationship," Strauss-Kahn wrote in an e-mail to IMF employees yesterday, without naming Nagy. "She is a talented economist and consummate professional. I acknowledge and regret the difficult situation this has created for her. I also apologize to my wife and family."

The revelation of the affair come as the IMF is playing a key role in the global financial crisis. The fund's executive board has hired an outside law firm to investigate the matter involving its director. Results of the investigation are expected before the end of the month.

Strauss-Kahn, a French national, is married to Anne Sinclair, one of France's best-known television personalities. On her blog, she said she still loves her husband and called the affair a one-night stand.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company