Despite what some may think about him, Strauss-Kahn told CNN in an exclusive interview Wednesday, he doesn't view women as sexual objects.
"No, I don't actually," Strauss-Kahn said. "I don't think so. I don't think I have any kind of problem with women. I have a problem with understanding what is expected from politicians of highest level. It's different from what [a] Mr. and Miss in the street [can do]."
Strauss-Kahn, once considered a likely candidate for the French presidency, also spoke of being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid that led to his resignation from his IMF post in 2011.
"I wasn't thinking anything," he told CNN. "It happened, something happened, which is a private thing and I still say what happens in a room is a private thing unless the prosecutors find something to tell you that you are going to be charged for something and they have proof of that."
The maid told police she was cleaning when Strauss-Kahn emerged nude from a room in his luxury suite at the Sofitel hotel and tried to assault her. Sexual assault charges filed against Strauss-Kahn later were dismissed at the request of the prosecutor after the prosecutor said the maid had lied about certain events.
Strauss-Kahn settled a civil suit with the maid, the terms of which were not disclosed, saying he thought he would have to pay more money in legal fees fighting it.
He decided to "pay and go on with my life," Strauss-Kahn said.
There have been numerous allegations against Strauss-Kahn. French journalist Tristane Banon filed a complaint against him alleging attempted rape. Strauss-Kahn countersued, accusing Banon of making "false declarations."
In February 2012, French police questioned Strauss-Kahn about an alleged prostitution ring in luxury hotels. An investigation into Strauss-Kahn's alleged involvement in a prostitution ring widened and authorities said police would open a preliminary inquiry into acts that allegedly occurred in Washington, which they said could constitute gang rape.
Charges in the Washington incident eventually were dropped.
Strauss-Kahn told CNN he thought he was treated shabbily by police.
"I think it's a terrible thing, frankly," he said. "The problem is, it's a moment where in all European, American society you're supposed to be innocent, you're supposed to be innocent until you're convicted."
Strauss-Kahn said he won't seek elected office and doesn't miss involvement in global finances. He said he has done work internationally, including recently in the Sudan.
"I'm doing it totally for free because I want to help them. I'm happy to see the government of South Sudan tell me, 'Come to us and help us. We need you,'" Strauss-Kahn told CNN. "That's much more rewarding than any kind of election in any country. People looking at you and say[ing], 'We need you.'"