Strauss-Kahn's US accuser tries to keep case live

The chamber maid who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault in a hotel room in May used her first press conference yesterday to press her case against the former IMF director and to express her anguish at her circumstances.

In halting English in a Brooklyn church hall crammed with reporters, the housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, offered thanks to everyone who has been supporting her in the case and said she had decided to face the media because of "bad things" that have been said about her that are untrue.

She said that she asks God why she was chosen for the ordeal: "I say, God, why me, why me?"

Earlier this week, Ms Diallo, who is originally from Guinea in West Africa, spent nearly eight hours talking to prosecutors about the case against Mr Strauss-Kahn, accompanied by her lead lawyer, Kenneth Thompson. Her camp appears to be scrambling to avert a decision by the Manhattan District Attorney to drop the seven charges filed against the former IMF director.

Doubts were cast on Ms Diallo's assertions after the DA's office acknowledged they had found some inconsistencies in her story. There were also reports at the time that she had said in phone conversations with a male acquaintance, who is himself in prison, that she recognised Mr Strauss-Kahn was powerful and wealthy and that she might stand to make some financial gain from the affair.

But Mr Thompson has this week come out and told media outlets that he has tapes of those conversations made in the days after the attack showing his client had been misquoted. Instead, he says, the tapes demonstrate that when the man implied there might be financial mileage in her position, Ms Diallo dismissed the notion. The tapes include descriptions of the assault, he said, that were consistent with what she told prosecutors.

If the Diallo camp can restore some of its lost credibility, the outlook for Mr Strauss-Kahn could darken again. After the initial problems with her claims first came to light, he was released on bail amid hopes on his side that the entire case might be dropped. He is not due to be in court for another three weeks.

"We cry every day, we can't sleep," Ms Diallo said, referring to herself and her daughter, adding that "a lot of bad things" have been said about her in recent weeks. "That's why I have to be here to let people know a lot of things people say about is not true," she said. She was meeting reporters for her daughter as well, saying she had promised her that "I am going to be strong for you and for every other woman in the world".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence