PARIS — As Dominique Strauss-Kahn was left to spend another day behind bars in New York, a pack of would-be successors wasted little time Tuesday maneuvering for his job as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, one of the most powerful positions in global finance.
While Mr. Strauss-Kahn has not yet resigned from his position after being sent on Monday to New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail on accusations of attempted rape, European officials intensified their lobbying for another European to head the fund, citing deepening uncertainties over the continent’s debt crisis.
Since it was formed after World War II, the I.M.F. has traditionally been run by a European, while the World Bank has long been headed by an American. But for the first time, there is a genuine possibility that the I.M.F. position could go to an official from a faster-growing non-Western country, reflecting the shifting global economy.
The prize-winning, blue-eyed television interviewer first met Strauss-Kahn in 1989 at the apex of her career as a political talk-show host on French channel TFI. For years her celebrity largely eclipsed his.
She became his third wife in 1996. He is her second husband.
People who know them say they are an affectionate couple who have an easy relationship and like to vacation together with friends in their holiday home in the Moroccan town of Marrakesh.
Sinclair sacrificed her career to his, giving up her popular prime-time Sunday show -- which featured guests from President Bill Clinton to Madonna and every major French political leader -- when her husband was appointed finance minister in 1997.
Many on the center-left saw her as an ideal "first lady" if, as expected, Strauss-Kahn sought the Socialist nomination for the 2012 presidential election.
Such dreams were dashed when the managing-director of the International Monetary Fund was arrested Saturday on an Air France plane after a maid in a luxury New York hotel accused him of sexual assault. He has denied the charges.
She (Sinclair) seems to live in denial," said one long-time Strauss-Kahn acquaintance, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Born in New York in 1948, Sinclair is the grand-daughter of Paul Rosenberg, one of the most prominent art merchants of the 20th century, and daughter of Robert Schwartz, a Jewish resistance fighter during World War II.
The newspaper Liberation quoted Strauss-Kahn as saying that her fortune "has ensured I will never have to want for the rest of my life.
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