In a new and confusing video of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on the night of the scandal involving a hotel maid, the ex-IMF chief is shown exiting an elevator of the Sofitel New York, walking through the lobby and getting into a taxi just 40 minutes after the alleged attempted rape.
The surveillance footage also shows his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, 32, walking with people who her lawyer says are hotel security agents. At one point, she can be seen gesticulating wildly as she talks to them, and then pushing one of the agents. There is also a moment in the video in which two hotel workers appear to be doing a victory dance, and high-five one another. The hotel workers say they can’t remember why they were celebrating.
The hotel released the images through French TV news channel BFMTV reportedly because they thought it could put an end to conspiracy theories. One theory says that 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn was set up by French government agents to prevent him from becoming the next president of France. The 13 minutes of footage, however, do not seem to give a conclusive answer to what happened between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo that day.
Diallo maintains that after she entered the suite to clean it, Strauss tried to rape her and forced her to perform oral sex. Strauss-Kahn says the act was consensual.
All charges were dismissed against the former IMF chief after prosecutors encountered problems with Diallo’s credibility.
Both sides tried to use the surveillance footage Thursday to say it bolstered their argument. Diallo’s attorneys say it shows Strauss-Kahn exiting the hotel in a hurry; one of Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys said it was clear from the video his client had committed no crime at all.
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