Strauss-Kahn, maid agree to settlement

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of sexually assaulting her in a New York hotel last year have agreed to settle her civil lawsuit against him for an undisclosed sum.

At a brief hearing in New York State Supreme Court in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Justice Douglas McKeon said the terms of deal would remain confidential.

Strauss-Kahn was not required by the judge to appear personally in New York. His accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, was present as the judge had ordered.

The agreement ends a legal saga that began when Diallo, 33, told police that Strauss-Kahn attacked her in his suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan on May 14, 2011. Her suit alleged that a naked Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom in his $3,000-a-night suite and forced her to perform oral sex.

The scandal forced Strauss-Kahn to resign his post as head of one of the world's most influential international finance organizations and wrecked his hopes of running for president in his native France.

Prosecutors initially expressed confidence in the evidence, including DNA that showed a sexual encounter. But they dropped the case in August 2011 after developing concerns about Diallo's credibility, including what they said were inconsistencies in her account of what happened immediately following the incident.

McKeon also said a separate lawsuit filed by Diallo against the New York Post over the tabloid's report that she was a prostitute had been settled as well. Terms for that were also not released.

Accusers in such cases often hide from the media glare, and many media outlets, including Reuters, protect their identities by not revealing their names.

But Diallo, the daughter of an imam from Guinea, broke her silence in July 2011, while the criminal investigation was still active, revealing her identity in interviews to Newsweek and ABC News.

She filed her civil lawsuit just weeks before the charges were dismissed, claiming he forced her to perform oral sex and caused her physical and emotional damage.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, filed a countersuit earlier this year against Diallo for defamation. He has said the sexual encounter was consensual but has admitted it was a "moral error."

The resolution of the civil case brings Strauss-Kahn closer to ending his legal troubles, which have persisted since his return to France after the initial incident.

Strauss-Kahn is awaiting a decision by a French court on his request to halt an inquiry to determine whether he should stand trial on pimping charges related to sex parties attended by him and by prostitutes.

He has quietly begun to resume his career in recent months, delivering speeches at private conferences and setting up a consulting firm in Paris.

 

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