Strauss-Kahn accuser speaks publicly
Maid who accused former IMF chief of attempted rape tells the US media he appeared as a "crazy man" and attacked her.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2011 19:24
Diallo told US media outlets that she wants justice [Al Jazeera]

The New York hotel maid who has accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her has been interviewed by Newsweek magazine, saying that he appeared as a "crazy man" and attacked her when she entered his room.

The magazine interview marks the first time the 32-year old Guinean immigrant to the United States has publicly spoken to the media since she made the allegations against Strauss-Kahn, who denies the charges.

She claimed that he had emerged naked from the bathroom of his luxury suite on May 14 and forced her to perform oral sex.

Nafissatou Diallo gave the magazine and ABC News permission to identify her by name. ABC News announced it would broadcast an interview with Diallo on Monday.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," she said in excerpts from the television interview released on Sunday.

The interviews come with the case against Strauss-Kahn in limbo after New York prosecutors raised doubts about the housekeeper's overall credibility. 

Her word was thrown into question when the prosecutors revealed Diallo changed details of her story about what happened after the purported assault.

'Never changed'

Diallo told Newsweek she wanted Strauss-Kahn held accountable, and that she was going public to tell a story she said had never wavered.

"It never changed. I know what this man do to me," she told the magazine, adding that she wanted to counter what she felt were misleading portrayals of her.

"Because of him they call me a prostitute," said Diallo, who has sued the New York Post over stories in which anonymous sources said she sold sex for money; the newspaper has said it stands by its reporting.

"I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money," she said.

Douglas Wigdor, one of Diallo's lawyers, told the Reuters news agency: "She's being attacked ... and she thought it was important to put a name and face to her account."

She also plans to file a civil lawsuit soon, which means her name would become public, he added.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News. "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

'She wants money'

Strauss-Kahn, 62, widely seen as a potentially successful French presidential candidate before his arrest, was pulled off a plane and arrested hours after the alleged incident.

Since the accusations were made by Diallo, another woman has since filed a legal complaint against him, alleging that he tried to rape her several years ago.

In a statement on Sunday, the former IMF head's lawyers called Diallo's interview a desperate effort by the maid and her lawyers to extract money from their client.

She is "the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money," lawyers Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor said.

Wigdor said Diallo was worried that prosecutors would drop the charges. "That has been a concern, but we're all hopeful that the district attorney's going to do the right thing," he said.

A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance refused to discuss the interviews, saying: "We will not discuss the facts or evidence in what remains an ongoing investigation."

Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Polio remains endemic in Pakistan as health workers battle anti-vaccine prejudice and threat to life by armed groups.
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.