Former International Monetary Fund (
IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Sunday in a French television interview admitted to an "inappropriate" sexual encounter with New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo and said he regretted his "mistake", dpa reported.
"What happened involved neither violence, force, aggression or any criminal act," he told TF1 in his first interview about the case which ended his IMF career and quashed his ambitions of becoming France's next president.
What transpired was an "inappropriate relation", and "more than that, a mistake vis-a-vis my wife, my children, my friends, but also vis-a-vis the French, who had placed their hopes for change in me," he said.
"I think it was a moral mistake and I'm not proud of it. I think I haven't stopped regretting it," he said.
Before his arrest in New York on May 14 on charges of attempting to rape the hotel maid, Strauss-Kahn had been the favourite to win next year's poll.
The former finance minister, who was dressed in a sombre black suit and tie, ruled out trying to play a role in the election, recognizing he had "missed his meeting" with the French people.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against him on August 23, saying that while there was evidence of a hurried sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo, they could not rely on her testimony to prove it was forced after she had lied about elements of her past.
He still faces a possible trial after Diallo in August launched civil proceedings against him.
He also faces possible charges in France, where police this week questioned him over allegations by French writer Tristane Banon that he attempted to rape her during an interview in 2003.
Commenting on the allegations Strauss-Kahn said there had been "no act of aggression, no violence" and reiterated that her version of events was "imaginary."