Dominique Strauss-Kahn has described his liaison with a hotel maid in New York City as "inappropriate" and a "moral failing," but has again denied her claim that he raped her.
In his first television interview since U.S. criminal charges against him were dropped in August, the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief said he would "always regret" his action.
The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF managing director after his arrest in New York in May.
“What happened did not include violence, force, aggression, nor any unlawful act,” Strauss-Kahn said in the interview September 18 with French TF1 television in Paris. “It is the prosecutor who says this, not me. What happened was not only an inappropriate relationship but, more than that, an error."
The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has filed a civil suit against him, seeking compensation for harm.
Strauss-Kahn also dismissed as “imaginary” claims by Tristane Banon, a French writer, who alleges that he tried to rape her during a 2003 interview.
A police investigation into those claims is ongoing.
Strauss-Kahn, who had been expected to be a strong contender in next year's presidential vote, also ruled out trying to play a role in the election, saying he had "missed his meeting" with the French people because of the New York incident.
compiled from agency reports