Dominique Strauss-Kahn
© Francois Lo Presti/AFP/Getty ImagesDominique Strauss-Kahn leaves in car after a daylong-plus interrogation in Lille about a prostitution sex-orgy ring.

Ex-French presidential hopeful says he was in orgies, but didn't know women worked for money

French powerbroker Dominique Strauss-Kahn was freed from police custody in Paris on Wednesday after a 30-hour grilling over a prostitution sex-orgy ring.

The ex-head of the International Monetary Fund and one-time French presidential hopeful appeared haggard as he left the police station in Lille, France.

"He is entirely satisfied to have been heard," said his lawyer Frederique Beaulieu. Strauss-Kahn is expected to be summoned back to court again next month.

French police are investigating a suspected international prostitution ring that organized sex orgies at luxury hotels in Lille, Paris, and Washington, D.C.

Strauss-Kahn has admitted participating in the orgies, but insists he did not know the women were hookers and denied organizing the swinger bashes, one of his lawyers said.

Dubbed "The Carlton Affair" after the name of a Lille hotel where some of the orgies occurred. Detectives are trying to determine if prostitutes were paid using corporate funds from the French construction company Eiffage.

Strauss-Kahn was dragged into the investigation after prostitutes told police they had sex with him during orgies in Paris and Washington, where he used to live.

His presidential hopes imploded last year when a Manhattan hotel maid accused him of sexually assaulting her. Prosecutors later dropped the charges. The accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, filed a civil suit. A hearing is set for March 15 in Bronx Supreme Court over whether Strauss-Kahn is protected from civil claims by diplomatic immunity.