NEW YORK: A film inspired by the sex scandal that ended Dominique Strauss-Kahn's career comes out in the United States today, but in a doctored version that has enraged the director.
"It's an arbitrary censorship," American director Abel Ferrara told The New York Times. "The illegal version... totally changes the political content of the film," he added.
The movie "Welcome to New York" is widely seen as a fictionalized account of the downfall of the former IMF boss once tipped as the future president of France.
It stars Gerard Depardieu as a man called Georges Devereaux with striking similarities to Strauss-Kahn, whose alleged 2011 sexual assault on a hotel maid in New York shook the world.
The director said he will take legal action over the modified release, which in the United States is distributed by IFC Films, trade journal the Hollywood Reporter said.
The modified film is 15 minutes shorter than the original, the rape scene is also recast as a flashback and takes place from the maid's point of view, Ferrara's lawyer told The New York Times.
In the original, the guilt of Depardieu's character is apparent, and the director shows zero sympathy toward men in power who have an abusive relationship with women, Hollywood Reporter said.
The film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and released in Britain last year.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York and forced to live under house arrest for weeks after posting USD 1 million bail.
Criminal charges were eventually dropped and in 2012 he settled a civil suit, paying the maid undisclosed damages, which reportedly exceeded USD 1.5 million.