NEW YORK, May 18 (UPI) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly warned Dominique Strauss-Kahn about his womanizing before he left for the United States in 2007.
Strauss-Kahn, a former economics professor and minister of the economy and finance from 1997 to 1999, had a reputation in France for being sexually aggressive, CBS News reported. Sarkozy, who supported his appointment as head of the International Monetary Fund, warned him mores are different in Washington, The Times of London said.
"Over there they don't joke about this sort of thing," Sarkozy said, according to the Times. "Your life will be passed under a magnifying glass. Avoid taking the lift alone with interns. France cannot permit a scandal."
Strauss-Kahn is being held at Rikers Island in New York after being charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a Manhattan hotel.
The French newspaper Liberation reported after his arrest that in an April 28 interview Strauss-Kahn suggested a woman might make up a story about being attacked in a parking lot to win large damages, CNN said. He also suggested his reputation is overblown.
A poll by the Conseil Sondage Analyses, or Council of Polling Analysis, found more than half, 57 percent, of those surveyed in France think Strauss-Kahn is a victim, not a perpetrator.