NEW YORK — Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn might take legal action in civil court against the hotel maid who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a now-dismissed criminal case and in her ongoing civil suit, one of his attorneys said Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn, a former French presidential candidate, could file his own claims to counter housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo’s lawsuit, “and that’s certainly a consideration,” lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Because she did lie, and he has suffered enormous damages as a result of those lies.”
The Associated Press does not usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, has done.
On Tuesday, a court dismissed the attempted-rape and other charges against Strauss-Kahn, who resigned his IMF post, spent five days in jail and then was placed on about six weeks of house arrest before being freed from it July 1. The dismissal came after prosecutors said they couldn’t pursue the case because of doubts about Diallo’s credibility and a lack of other evidence to prove a forced sexual encounter.
Diallo wasn’t truthful with prosecutors about several aspects of her life and changed her account, prosecutors said.
Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys have long said that the encounter at a luxurious Manhattan hotel was consensual. Although Diallo’s account of it has been recounted in interviews, in her lawsuit and in the now-defunct prosecution, Strauss-Kahn doesn’t want to detail his version of what happened, Brafman said.
Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail inquiry about the possibility of Strauss-Kahn filing his own claims in civil court. Thompson has said it’s “utter nonsense” to say the encounter was consensual. Earlier Tuesday, he blasted the dismissal of the case, saying prosecutors “would not allow a woman to have her day in court.”
Diallo says Strauss-Kahn chased her down in his hotel suite on May 14, grabbed her crotch, propelled her to the ground and forced her to perform oral sex. His semen was found on her uniform.