Strauss-Kahn settles suit with hotel maid

New York judge says former IMF chief and maid who accused him of sexual assault have reached an undisclosed deal.
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2012 04:06

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, and the hotel maid who accused him last year of attempting to rape her have agreed to a settlement in her civil lawsuit against him.

In a court hearing in New York on Monday, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the two sides had reached a deal to end the litigation, but said details of the settlement, including the amount of any damages to be paid to Nafissatou Diallo by Strauss-Kahn, will not be made public.

The case stemmed from a May 2011 hotel suite encounter in which Diallo reported Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex and tried to rape her after she went to clean his room.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, said the encounter was consensual, calling her suit defamatory and launching a countersuit for $1m.

After the announcement of the settlement, Diallo said: "I just want to say I thank everyone who supported me, all over the world. I thank everybody. I thank God, and God bless you all."

"Ms Diallo is a strong and courageous woman who never lost faith in our justice system," said Kenneth Thompson, her lawyer. "With this resolution she can now move on with her life."

Originally, the case had spurred criminal charges, which prosecutors later dropped amid concerns about Diallo's credibility.

They said she had wavered in recounting her movements after the alleged attack and lied to them about her past, including a convincing but fictitious story of being gang-raped before.

The incident led to Strauss-Kahn's resignation from the IMF and ultimately cut off his potential candidacy for the French presidency earlier this year.

Late last month, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers dismissed as "flatly false" a French newspaper report that Strauss-Kahn had agreed to pay $6m to Diallo.

'Motivations unclear'

Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reported from New York that Strauss-Kahn did not appear in court, and that his motivations for the settlement were unclear.

Diallo said Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her after
she went to clean his room [Reuters]

"Even though he said he was innocent, [that it was] consensual, he clearly felt it was in his interest, as did she, to put this case behind them," our correspondent said.

Diallo, 33, a Guinean immigrant and widowed mother of a teenage girl, has not returned to the job she held for three years at the Sofitel New York where the encounter with Strauss-Kahn. The hotel chain says she is on workers' compensation.

Her lawyers have said Strauss-Kahn tore a ligament in her shoulder during the incident, which he disputes.

Since Diallo came forward, other sexual assault and prostitution allegations have emerged against the former IMF chief.

Though some were withdrawn or deemed too old for prosecutors to pursue, he faces aggravated pimping charges related to a suspected prostitution ring run from a French luxury hotel.

Strauss-Kahn says he attended "libertine" gatherings but was not aware anyone was paid for sex.

A French court is due to rule on December 19 on his bid to get those charges thrown out.

Adding further turmoil to his personal life, Strauss-Kahn and his wife, journalist Ann Sinclair, have separated.

Strauss-Kahn has been trying to rebuild his professional stature by giving speeches at international conferences and reportedly setting up a consulting company in Paris.


Al Jazeera and agencies
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