By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 18 (IANS) International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been placed on suicide watch in his New York City jail cell four days after his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chamber maid.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was a leading contender for the next French presidential election, is under 24-hour surveillance in protective isolation at New York's Riker's Island jail, ABC News reported.
He has been made to wear a special jumpsuit, which lacks excess material or strings that an inmate could use to harm himself, and is designed to prevent inmates from concealing any objects, it said.
Meanwhile, his alleged victim is still reeling from the attack she says took her completely by surprise, the news channel said citing a close friend.
"She was still crying today," the friend was quoted as saying. "She was completely devastated. I was the first person she called."
The alleged victim, a housekeeper at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, called the friend from the emergency room at St. Luke's Hospital, where she was examined by doctors and questioned by New York Police Department detectives Saturday night after the alleged attack.
"She called me and said, 'Something really bad happened,'" he said.
He described his friend, an immigrant from West Africa and the mother of a 15-year-old girl, as a "good Muslim" and "not the kind of woman to attack a man."
"She didn't understand why he did such a thing," he said, adding that he believed in the US judicial system and that she would testify against Strauss-Kahn.
She is being held at a safe but undisclosed location, he said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)