By LUCAS BRETONNIER AND MARC PELLERIN
(Translated with permission from Le Parisien)
On the TV show The Good Wife, a beautiful woman in her forties swaps her housewife's garb for a lawyer’s gown when the sexual escapades of her husband – a State’s attorney – end up on the front pages. By stepping out of her husband’s shadow, the heroine rediscovers her taste for work... and reconnects with her first love. Anne Sinclair will probably not have the same destiny, but she seems to be following the same path. At 63, she has just been appointed editorial director of the Huffington Post’s French edition, launched today. It is a journalistic rebirth for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's wife, nine months after the Sofitel scandal. A year ago, she was standing next to her husband at official dinners in Washington.
Starting off today, he will be seen standing next to her at Parisian events.
“One can see in her comeback the desire to end a period of isolation, to stop being considered DSK’s wife, and to maintain her personal identity,” says Alain Hertogue, who along with Marc Tronchot wrote her biography, Anne Sinclair, femme de tête, femme de cœur, published by Calmann Levy. She will remain Mrs. Strauss-Kahn but again become Anne Sinclair.
“This turn would not have happened if DSK had stayed in charge of the I.M.F”, noted a close friend of Mathieu Pigasse, co-owner of the Le Monde group, which The Huffington Post has partnered with.
In a long interview with French Elle - her first one since DSK faced charges - Anne Sinclair confirms this. Apart from this, she dodges certain questions, controls her answers, and takes responsibility: “No one knows what happens in a couple, and I will not let anybody judge mine. I feel free to make my own judgments and to act the way I want. I make my decisions independently.”
Still, the Sofitel and Carlton cases have hastened her comeback to journalism. Who would have expected it four months ago, when the famous host of TF1’s “7/7” came back to France with her cleared husband?
“At no point during our investigation that lasted until September did we know about her return to journalism,” affirmed Marc Tronchot, co-writer of her biography. Her desire was vague, nothing precise. “It’s Mathieu Pigasse, who was collaborating with DSK when he was Minister of Finance and a close family friend, who wanted it for her. He awakened her will to be a journalist again.”
Anne Sinclair returns to her profession in a high-profile position, created for her in a project that aims to contribute to the political discussion and, some say, to François Hollande, a presidential candidate in the next election. The journalist will be the face of the Huffington Post’s French edition. Along with the entire team, she will hold a press conference on Monday in Paris, at the Le Monde newspaper headquarters, to describe her new role in the website which will mix news, entertainment, editorials, and blogs written by well-known personalities. But nothing like the grand period of “7/7”, when the attractive blue-eyed woman – known for her pugnacity and determination – had more than ten million viewers each week. At that time, she played the role of a TV confidant to high-society politicians, economists and artists. She decided to quit when DSK, who she married in 1991, became the Minister of Finance.
She continued working for France Inter, Canal + and RTL, eventually starting a daily blog in the United States, slowly withdrawing herself from the media spotlight.
“Anne Sinclair is thrilled to resume her career, she immediately felt involved,” said an editor at the French Huffington Post. “She really likes the idea of using her network to convince people, whether from the right or left of the political spectrum, to become contributors to the site. And at the same time, she doesn’t want to restrain herself. She doesn’t have her own office, and never asked for one. The eight young journalists are very impressed by Anne. She has a lot of energy. It is a perfect balance as the editor-in-chief, Paul Ackermann, a Swiss man, is as calm as they come!”
Her status there is flexible enough that she can punctually remove herself if her husband returns to the front pages. Unless she decides not to. In the third season of The Good Wife, the heroine-lawyer has left her husband, who returned to his job as a State’s attorney. Then, she battles him in court.
Arianna Huffington, an American Example.
Anne Sinclair is searching for an example of a magnate in high-heels. Arianna Huffington, the founder of the news website that holds her name, is standing right there. She is the one in charge of setting up, from New York, the Huffington Post in Paris. She is the one who sold the American edition for 234 million euros to AOL last February, six years after creating it. But the queen of new media in the United States didn’t really need the money. Before her crowning by the media, the woman Forbes named among the 100 most influential in the world had already been given the title by the American bigwigs and made the millions that come along with it.
Arianna Stassinopoulos, born sixty-one years ago in Greece to a humble family, is living a fairy tale.
This “force of nature”, as an American journalist described her, didn’t last long at the Acropolis. She received a scholarship to study at Cambridge, where she became president of the debating society. She eventually met a famous British journalist, Bernard Levin, who introduced her to the London glitterati. At 23, she wrote an antifeminist book, The Female Woman, and then a biography of Picasso. London was the first step of her ascension. She left Bernard Levin because of different ideas about marriage and children, and moved to the US. At 30, she graced the cover of New York magazine. Six years later, she married Michael Huffington, the heir to a petroleum empire and idol of the conservative party. They were divorced in 1997 and her ex-husband revealed his homosexuality. She didn’t disown her last name. She made it a brand.