Beats her husband's successor Christine Lagarde at the IMF to top spot; France's First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy finishes sixth

The long-suffering wife of shamed former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been voted Woman of the Year in a new poll in France.

Something to celebrate: Anne Sinclair was praised for her 'tenacity
and unwavering support' for her husband in the face of adversity. File pic

Millionairess Anne Sinclair, 63, won the annual award for her 'loyalty and courage' in the face of her husband's catalogue of humiliating sex scandals.

The former TV presenter stood by Strauss-Kahn after he was arrested for allegedly trying to rape a New York hotel chambermaid in May.

But Sinclair was praised for her 'tenacity and unwavering support' for her husband in the face of adversity in the survey by pollsters CSA for France's Terrafemina magazine.

Terrafemina spokeswoman Veronique Morali said, "Anne Sinclair is both a heroine and a kind of anti-heroine for women in France. Women look at the problems they face in their own lives and seem to identify with her."

Sinclair won 25 per cent of the vote in the poll, followed in second place by Strauss-Kahn succcessor at the IMF, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde.

She remained devoted to 62-year-old economist even when he faced accusations on his return to France of sexually abusing a young French writer.

He then confessed to taking part in orgies after he was named in connection with an underage prostitution racket in Lille, northern France.

A succession of vice girls then came forward alleging they had had sex with Strauss-Kahn at swingers parties.
French socialist party leader Martine Aubry came in third place, followed by extreme right-wing National Front party leader Marine Le Pen in fourth.

French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy came in sixth place with 16 per cent of the votes.

In tenth and last place in the list was Tristane Banon, 32, who accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her eight years ago in Paris.

The CSA poll was carried out between  December 6 and 7, with 1, 005 women questioned according to a quotas method.