Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, have denied reports that he has agreed to pay $6m to settle a lawsuit brought by a Manhattan maid who accused him of sexual assault.
The French newspaper, Le Monde reports in its Saturday edition that the former frontrunner for the French presidency has told friends that he has agreed to pay Nafissatou Diallo the amount in order to end an 18-month legal battle.
The Le Monde article followed a report in the New York Times that Strauss-Kahn, 63, and Diallo had "quietly reached an agreement to settle".
However, a statement by William Taylor III and Amit Mehta, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, said: "Media reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay six million dollars to settle the civil case are 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."
Strauss-Kahn was held in New York in May 2011 after Diallo said he assaulted her in his hotel suite.
Diallo alleged that he had leapt on her in his room at the Sofitel hotel and forced her to perform oral sex.
He said there had been a sexual encounter but that it was consensual.
Prosecutors later dropped charges amid concerns about Diallo's credibility.
Her case opened a slew of others sexual allegations against Strauss-Kahn, forcing him to resign from his IMF post.
Estranged wife's money
According to Le Monde, Strauss-Kahn will raise the money by borrowing $3m from a bank and the rest from his estranged wife, Anne Sinclair, a former newsreader who inherited a fortune from her art dealer father.
Judge Douglas McKeon, who is presiding over the civil case, told the AFP news agency "there may be a court session as early as next week," but declined to comment on the reports of a settlement.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers repeatedly said they would not agree to a pay-off deal while Diallo's legal team played up claims she wanted her day in court to confront her alleged abuser.
Strauss-Kahn will learn on December 19 if he is to face further investigation into pimping charges arising from allegations that he and associates arranged sex parties with prostitutes in the northern French city of Lille.
His lawyers have filed a request for the charges to be dismissed.
French prosecutors last month dropped an investigation into Strauss-Kahn's alleged participation in a gang rape after the woman involved said she had consented and was not pressing charges.