Tristane Banon alleged on a French television programme in 2007 that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her when she went to interview him as a young journalist in 2002.
She later explained that she was persuaded not to report the matter to the police at the time by her mother, who was a Socialist politician.
When Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with the attempted rape of a New York hotel chambermaid 6 weeks ago Banon's lawyer said his client would also be taking legal action in connection with her own allegations, but that she did not wish in any way to be involved in the US case.
Lawyer David Koubbi denied today that the decision to start legal proceedings tomorrow was motivated by a wish to prevent a possible return to political life for Dominique Strauss-Kahn amid reports that the New York case was on the point of collapse.
"Whether Monsieur Dominique Strauss-Kahn comes back or does not come back, is a possible presidential contender or not makes no difference. There is no link between the American and the French cases, because I have not chosen to make one," he told RFI