Strauss-Kahn, hotel maid reach settlement
NEW YORK — A hotel housekeeper whose allegations of sexual assault derailed former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s professional career and political ambitions agreed to settle her civil case against Strauss-Kahn on Monday, after prosecutors dropped criminal charges amid questions about the accuser’s credibility.
Details of the settlement, signed in a Bronx courthouse, were not released, and Strauss-Kahn was not present. The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, 33, spoke briefly to reporters outside the courthouse after the settlement was finalized.
“I just want to say I thank everyone who supported me all over the world. I thank everybody … and God bless you all. Thank you very much,” 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 luxury 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 a consensual sexual encounter.
A grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn, and the case seemed destined to head to trial until 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.
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. Neither side had confirmed reports last week in French and U.S. media, quoting unidentified sources, as saying that the financier would pay Diallo $6 million.
Strauss-Kahn, meanwhile, faces more problems at home in France, where his marriage to a high-profile journalist who had stood by his side throughout the criminal case collapsed.