• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:57am

Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 July, 2011, 12:00am

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (below), who quit as chief of the International Monetary Fund in May after being accused of sexually assaulting a maid in New York's Sofitel hotel, was all smiles after being released from house arrest this month. He headed straight to an art show to celebrate his new-found freedom. His suave appearance was in sharp contrast to the bedraggled, unshaven financier who was forced to spend long days trying to avoid picking up the soap in the shower at the city's notorious Rikers Island jail ...

Rikers Island's, located in the East River between Queens and the mainland Bronx, is certainly no place for a dapper Frenchman. Its alumni include enough famous people for a rock 'n' roll hall of shame, from Punk rocker Sid Vicious and rappers Lil Wayne and Tupac Shakur to the granddaddy of them all, jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins ...

As a down-on-his-luck drug user in 1950, Rollins was sentenced to three years in Rikers for armed robbery. Amazingly, Rollins is still rolling to this day, at the age of 80. If anyone doubts he's still got the gift after more than 50 albums, then watch him play live. Thousands did just that last month for his one-off show in Australia, at the Sydney Opera House, which was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon ...

The winner of a 1957 competition to design the Opera House, Utzon's shell design is Sydney's most recognisable landmark. The design was such that the 14 shells of the building would form a perfect sphere if put together. Amid political wrangling over the timing and cost of the project, he was ditched from the project and not even invited to its eventual opening night, in 1973. Utzon was a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, which was inaugurated in 1754 as a 31st birthday present to King Frederik V ...

Frederik was crowned King of Denmark and Norway in 1746. Twice married and despite having six children, Denmark was thrown into a succession crisis as Frederik's male bloodline dried up. Eventually his great-grandson on the female line, Christian IX of Denmark, took the throne. Known as 'the father-in-law of Europe' because his six children married into other royal families across the continent, Christian IX's male descendants now rule Norway and Greece, while another is heir to the British throne, Prince Charles ...

'Old Jug Ears', as he isn't known to close friends, has a reputation for being rather stiff. That may be unfair as he's often tried new things to enhance his image, including making an appearance two decades ago on France's top television show, then hosted by the country's much-adored Anne Sinclair. Sinclair is still celebrated in France, nowadays for her willingness to stand by her man in times of trouble. It isn't easy being Mrs Dominique Strauss-Kahn.


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