SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

December 14, 2012

Strauss-Kahn, maid settle

Strauss-Kahn, hotel maid settle


NEW YORK — A hotel housekeeper whose allegations of sexual assault derailed former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s career and political ambitions agreed to settle her civil case against him yesterday, after prosecutors dropped criminal charges amid questions about the accuser’s credibility.

Details of the settlement, signed in a Bronx courthouse, were not disclosed, and Strauss-Kahn was not present. The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, 33, spoke briefly outside the courthouse.

“I just want to say I thank everyone who supported me all over the world,” she said.

Her attorney, Kenneth Thompson, added, “Miss Diallo is a strong and courageous woman who never lost faith in our system of justice. With this resolution, she can now move on with her life.”

The settlement ended one chapter in the saga that began in May 2011, when Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn, 63, of trying to rape her when she went into his room at a Manhattan hotel to clean it. Strauss-Kahn, who was then the chief of the International Monetary Fund and considered a likely candidate for the French presidency, said they had consensual sex.

A grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn, but the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., announced three months later that interviews with Diallo and an investigation of her background raised questions about prosecutors’ ability to get a conviction at trial.

Diallo by then had filed her civil suit in the Bronx, where she lives; Strauss-Kahn, in turn, filed a lawsuit against Diallo alleging defamation.

Strauss-Kahn lawyers deny $6m deal with hotel maid

Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Kiev, 4 April 2012 Dominique Strauss-Kahn admitted to a moral failing
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Lawyers for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn have denied reports he has settled a lawsuit with a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault.

They denied reports that a deal of $6m (£3.7m; 4.6m euros) had been agreed and said negotiations were still under way.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was held in New York in May 2011 after Nafissatou Diallo said he assaulted her in his hotel suite.

Prosecutors later dropped charges amid concerns about her credibility.

Lawyers William Taylor III and Amit Mehta said in a statement on Friday that reports of a settlement were “flatly false”.

“The parties have discussed a resolution but there has been no settlement. Mr Strauss-Kahn will continue to defend the charges if no resolution can be reached,” their statement said.

‘Moral failing’

It was reported on Thursday that a deal was said to have been struck in recent days at the Bronx Supreme Court.

Details of the deal were not reported at the time and correspondents said they were likely to be subject to a confidentiality agreement.

But unnamed sources close to Mr Strauss-Kahn, quoted by France’s Le Monde newspaper, said he had planned to pay Ms Diallo $6m.

The sources also said half would have been paid by Mr Strauss-Kahn and half would have been loaned to him by his wife Anne Sinclair, from whom he formally separated last month.

After charges were dropped Ms Diallo, 33, opened a civil suit for undisclosed damages against the former French politician. Mr Strauss-Kahn, 63, called the lawsuit defamatory and countersued.

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Sex cases against Strauss-Kahn

  • Civil case on sexual assault charge in New York – settlement apparently reached
  • Criminal case on sexual assault charge in New York – dropped August 2011
  • Police investigation linking him to suspected vice ring at luxury hotel in Lille, France – ongoing
  • Criminal case on attempted rape claims in Paris – dropped October 2011
  • Investigation on “gang rape” claims in Washington – dropped October 2012

Her case opened the floodgates to a slew of others sexual allegations against Mr Strauss-Kahn, leading him to resign from his IMF post.

It was widely seen as having ruined his chance of becoming the socialist presidential candidate in his native France.

She told police that when she arrived to clean his luxury Manhattan hotel room, he forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He admitted to a “moral failing”, but said it was consensual.

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