Strauss-Kahn was once tipped to become French president.
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has reached a
preliminary agreement to settle a civil lawsuit brought against
him by a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault last
year, sources familiar with the case said.
US and France-based lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, who was once
tipped to become French president, acknowledged a deal was
under discussion, but said it had not yet been finalised.
They also denied as "flatly false" and "fanciful" a report
that he agreed on a $6 million settlement.
"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's US
lawyers, William Taylor and Amit Mehta, said in a statement.
"Media reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay
six million dollars to settle the civil case are flatly
French daily Le Monde, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn,
said he and the maid Nafissatou Diallo would meet a judge in
New York on Dec. 7 to sign a $6 million settlement and close
an affair that ended the Frenchman's International Monetary
Fund career and wrecked his presidential ambitions.
"The discussions have been going on for weeks, months. The
agreement should be confirmed at the start of next week,"
Michele Saban, a friend of Strauss-Kahn who saw him recently,
told Reuters in Paris. She could not confirm the sum
"We are moving towards the end of a tragedy," she said,
adding that Diallo had always been open to negotiating a
settlement despite reticence from her lawyers.
Le Monde said 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn planned to take out a
bank loan for $3 million and would be lent the other $3
million by his wife Anne Sinclair, despite the fact the
couple separated in the summer and now live on different
sides of Paris.
Strauss-Kahn's Paris-based legal team declined to comment on
whether a deal had been reached with Diallo, but denied Le
Monde's report of the sum involved.
"Neither Dominique Strauss-Kahn nor his lawyers will comment
on proceedings in the United States. That said, however, they
strenuously deny the erroneous and fanciful information
relayed by Le Monde," said a statement from the Paris
The New York Times, which first reported the development,
also said the pair would appear before a judge in New York
next week. It said the settlement sum could not be
News of the US deal comes as Strauss-Kahn is awaiting a
decision by a French court on December 19 on whether to call
off a sex offence inquiry involving parties in Lille attended
by prostitutes, where he risks trial on a charge of
If that case is dropped and Diallo ends her civil case,
Strauss-Kahn would have a freer rein to pursue his
consultancy work and could even consider a tentative return
to public life in France, where he has been shunned since the
Images of the then IMF chief paraded before TV cameras in
handcuffs before being charged with attempted rape shocked
the world and led to French media raking over smutty details
of the former finance minister's private life.
"That's the end, not only of this affair, but of any
potential affair because one of the reasons for signing this
kind of agreement is that both parties agree that they will
never again bring a lawsuit," Christopher Mesnooh, a US
lawyer who practices in France, said of the Diallo agreement.
"There will always be people who wonder about what happened
in New York and in Lille, but from a legal standpoint if he
gets all this behind him, he's a free man," he added.
Diallo alleged that Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral
sex on May 14, 2011, in his suite at the Manhattan Sofitel.
The criminal prosecution fell apart after doubts emerged
concerning Diallo's credibility as a witness and the
attempted rape charges against Strauss-Kahn were eventually
Strauss-Kahn, who in May 2011 was days from entering this
year's French presidential election, has maintained that the
sexual encounter was consensual, although he said in a TV
interview after his return to France that he regretted his
He filed his own countersuit against the maid earlier this
year, claiming that Diallo's accusations had destroyed his
career and harmed his reputation.
In recent months, Strauss-Kahn has been making a comeback
under-the-radar with a handful of speaking engagements at
private conferences and by setting up a business consultancy
firm in Paris.