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IMF Chief on Suicide Watch at Rikers, Reports Say

By Nicole Bode | May 17, 2011 9:13pm

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN — Disgraced head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been placed on suicide watch at Rikers jail, where he's been held without bail since Monday, when a judge deemed him a flight risk, according to reports.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been kept on constant surveillance since his arrival at Rikers, and had to hand over his $2,500 Cartier watch and don a blue prison uniform, the Daily News reported.

The less-than-welcoming digs are a far cry from the Sofitel hotel in Midtown, where the one-time French presidential contender allegedly sexually assaulted and tried to rape a 32-year-old maid who tried to clean his room on Saturday afternoon. He was arrested and hauled off of an Air France jet at JFK minutes before takeoff, police said.

A Department of Correction spokesman said he could not comment on the health of inmates.

The news came as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reportedly said Strauss-Kahn was in "no position" to keep his role at the helm of the international agency in light of the charges.

The one-time contender for the French presidency is due back in court on Friday,

Lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro, who is representing the alleged victim, told the Associated Press that his client — an immigrant from the West African country of Guinea — arrived in the country seven years ago, and cares for her 15 year old daughter in their Bronx apartment.

The woman had no idea who Strauss-Kahn was until days after the attack, Shapiro told reporters.