Possible gay link to death of French academic in New York

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A married Parisian academic who was found dead in his Manhattan hotel room on Tuesday this week is said to have been using gay hook-up websites on his laptop prior to his death.

The corpse of Richard Descoings, 53, director of the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies and friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was said by New York City police to show no signs of trauma, and nor was there any evidence of forced entry into the room. However, alcohol and prescription pills were found.

Detectives are looking to question two men who visited Mr Descoings’ room on Monday evening. His body was discovered Tuesday afternoon after he failed to appear at a conference at Columbia University.

An autopsy performed yesterday was reported as inconclusive, stating that additional toxicology tests were required.

Bizarrely, Mr Descoings’ laptop and mobile phone were found on a third-floor ledge, possibly thrown from his window on the fifth floor.

Mr Descoings’ widow, Nadia Marik-Descoings, flew to New York from France yesterday, and according to the New York Post “[she] told cops she was aware of her husband’s homosexual interests ‘before she met and married him'”.

President Sarkozy yesterday paid tribute to his friend, who he said gave underprivileged students the chance to study at the revered Paris university.