The violent crime of attempted rape is “out of character” for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, people who knew him told Reuters.

Strauss-Kahn was widely known for being a womanizer. He admitted to an affair with a Hungarian subordinate at the IMF and often sent flowers and notes to female journalists he fancied.

However, he wasn’t violent and never did “anything illicit.”  Below are comments to that effect.

- One IMF employee said “nobody at the [IMF] ever dreamed he would try to coerce sex.”

- A number of close friends of Strauss-Kahn in France have said this is out of character, and I think it is in many ways. He is usually a charming, seductive guy, who of course likes women,” said Stefan Collignon, a former top official in Germany's finance ministry.

- I think that it's impossible that Strauss-Kahn could have gone that way, precisely because he had little problem (finding takers). It was well known in Paris circles he was a skirt-chaser when it comes to women, but not of minors or anything illicit,” said Gilles Savary, a Socialist councilor.

Among the French public, Strauss-Kahn’s womanizing was an open secret. However, polls show that 57 percent of the French public believe he is a victim of a conspiracy and framed for a crime he didn’t commit.