Dominique Strauss-Kahn settles Manhattan hotel maid assault claim

 

Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid have settled her lawsuit 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 New York state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the confidential deal.

Mr Strauss-Kahn stayed in Paris and refused to discuss the settlement, which came after prosecutors abandoned a related criminal case because they said Ms Diallo had credibility problems.

"I thank everyone who supported me all over the world," said Ms Diallo, who has rarely spoken publicly since the encounter between her and Strauss-Kahn in may last year.

"I thank God, and God bless you all," she added.

In a statement, Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, 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 Mr Strauss-Kahn's luxury Manhattan hotel suite.

Ms Diallo, a 33-year-old housekeeper from Guinea, told police he 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, 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 could not trust Ms Diallo, saying she was inconsistent about her actions right after leaving his suite, and she told a compelling but false story of having been raped previously.

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

The judge said he met Ms Diallo earlier this year and talked with her about the prospect of settlement talks. The negotiations continued, with a lengthy discussion involving the judge late last month, and a final deal was sealed on Monday, Justice McKeon said.

"I want to say what a privilege it has been to work with all of you and to work on this case," he told Ms Diallo and the lawyers for both sides.

The judge said Ms Diallo also settled a separate libel lawsuit against the New York Post over a series of articles that claimed she was a prostitute. The details of that settlement were not disclosed either.

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

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

French judges are to decide by December 19 whether to annul charges linking him to a suspected prostitution ring run out of a luxury hotel in Lille. He acknowledges attending "libertine" gatherings but says he did not know about any women getting paid to participate.

Another inquiry, centred on allegations of rape in a hotel in Washington DC, was dropped after French prosecutors said the accuser, an escort, changed her account to say she was not forced to have sex.

French prosecutors have also looked into writer Tristane Banon's allegations that Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2003, a claim she made public after his New York arrest and he called imaginary and slanderous. Prosecutors said they believed the encounter qualified as a sexual assault, but the legal timeframe to pursue her complaint had elapsed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003