Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Strauss-Kahn agrees payout to New York hotel maid in sex assault lawsuit

Scandal-hit former IMF chief settles sex assault lawsuit in New York court

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 3:38am


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Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay a financial settlement to a New York hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault.

The payout, reportedly worth several million US dollars, is the latest humiliation to the one-time French presidential contender. But a judge ordered that details of Monday's deal between Strauss-Kahn and Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old illiterate migrant from Guinea, be kept confidential.

Diallo said Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom of the hotel suite she was cleaning, chased her down and forced her to perform oral sex. Strauss-Kahn said the acts were consensual.

His lawyers dismissed French media reports that the maid would receive several million dollars, but experts said a substantial payment is the norm in such a case.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, was not in New York for the hearing. He is also under investigation over other scandals in France.

Monday's deal enables him to close one chapter. But Strauss-Kahn has another tough legal date a week today, when he will learn whether he faces an investigation into pimping charges arising from allegations that he helped arranged sex parties with prostitutes for wealthy men, including himself.

Diallo, a widowed mother of a teenage daughter, emerged from more than a year in hiding to attend the 10-minute hearing before Judge Douglas McKeon.

Outside the court, she said: "I thank everyone who supports me. I thank God, and God bless you all." Diallo also settled a separate action against the New York Post tabloid, McKeon said. The newspaper alleged after the sex assault case erupted that Diallo was a prostitute.

Her lawyer Kenneth Thompson called Diallo a "courageous woman who never lost faith in our system of justice". He added: "With this resolution she can now move on with her life."

Strauss-Kahn's lead lawyer, William Taylor, said in a statement: "We are pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter. We are grateful to Judge McKeon, whose patience and forbearance allowed this agreement to be formulated."

An international scandal erupted after Diallo alleged Strauss-Kahn assaulted her at the New York Sofitel on May 14 last year. The International Monetary Fund managing director was detained on a plane at John F. Kennedy airport and was held for several days at New York's tough Rikers Island jail.

He soon had to resign from his post at the global lender.

In August last year, prosecutors dropped criminal charges, declaring Diallo was not a credible witness. Strauss-Kahn returned to France even though the maid maintained a civil suit.