December 11, 2012 in Nation/World

Strauss-Kahn settles hotel maid’s lawsuit

Ex-IMF leader accused of sexual assault
Jennifer Peltz Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Nafissatou Diallo, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, enters a car outside a Bronx courthouse after the case was settled Monday in New York.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

NEW YORK – Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid settled her lawsuit Monday over sexual assault allegations that sank his political career and spurred scrutiny of his dealings with women on two continents.

The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, looked composed and resolute as state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the confidential deal. Strauss-Kahn stayed in Paris and was mum when asked about the settlement, which came after prosecutors abandoned a related criminal case because they said Diallo had credibility problems.

“I thank everyone who supported me all over the world,” Diallo, who has rarely spoken publicly since the May 2011 encounter between her and Strauss-Kahn, said softly after court.

In a statement, Strauss-Kahn attorneys William Taylor III and Amit Mehta said the former diplomat was “pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter.” They credited the judge with “patience and forbearance” that fostered the agreement.

The lawsuit stemmed from an encounter in Strauss-Kahn’s luxury Manhattan hotel suite.

Diallo, a 33-year-old housekeeper from Guinea, told police Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex, tried to rape her and tore a ligament in her shoulder after she arrived to clean his suite. The 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn, who has since separated from his wife, has said what happened was “a moral failing” but was consensual.

The allegations led to his arrest, forced him to resign his IMF post and cut off the Socialist’s potential candidacy for the French presidency.

The criminal case was dropped after prosecutors said they couldn’t trust Diallo.

She said she always told the truth about Strauss-Kahn and would press her claims in the lawsuit. Strauss-Kahn called her suit defamatory and countersued for $1 million.

The judge said he met Diallo earlier this year and talked with her about the prospect of settlement talks. The negotiations continued, and a final deal was inked just Monday, McKeon said.

After Diallo came forward, other sexual allegations emerged against Strauss-Kahn, who had been known as a womanizer but largely viewed as debonair.

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