Attorneys for Strauss-Kahn deny settlement reachedBy Jennifer Peltz
NEW YORK— Attorneys for Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Friday denied that the former International Monetary Fund chief has reached a settlement with a New York City hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her.
William Taylor III and Amit Mehta said in a statement issued Friday that the parties have merely “discussed a resolution.”
A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Thursday that a settlement had been reached. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the private negotiation.
“Media reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay $6 million to settle the civil case are flatly false,” the attorneys said. “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.”
French newspaper Le Monde, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, reported the $6 million figure.
Strauss-Kahn’s Paris lawyers, Frederique Baulieu, Richard Malka and Henri Leclerc, said they “vigorously deny the fantasist and erroneous information” published by Le Monde.
The New York Times first reported the agreement had been reached.
A settlement would bring an end to a saga that has tarnished Strauss-Kahn’s reputation, ended his hopes for the French presidency and renewed a debate about the credibility of sexual assault accusers.
But it might not mean the end of his legal troubles. He is awaiting a ruling on whether he is linked to “pimping” in connection with a French prostitution ring.
The person familiar with the New York case told the AP on Thursday that lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the housekeeper, Guinean-born Nafissatou Diallo, made the as-yet-unsigned agreement within recent days, with a Bronx Supreme Court justice facilitating it.
Prosecutors dropped related criminal charges last year.
If any deal were veiled by a confidentiality agreement, Strauss-Kahn and Diallo might not speak publicly about the May 2011 encounter that she called a brutally sudden attack and he termed a consensual “moral failing.”
Diallo, 33, and Strauss-Kahn, 63, crossed paths when she arrived to clean his luxury Manhattan hotel suite. She told police he chased her down, tried to pull down her pantyhose and forced her to perform oral sex.
The allegation let loose a spiral of accusations about the sexual conduct of Strauss-Kahn, a married diplomat and economist who had long been dubbed the “great seducer.”
With DNA evidence showing a sexual encounter and Diallo providing a gripping description of an attack, the Manhattan district attorney’s office initially said it had a strong and compelling case. But within six weeks, prosecutors’ confidence began to ebb as they said Diallo had lied about her past — including a false account of a previous rape — and her actions after leaving Strauss-Kahn’s room.
Diallo said she told the truth about their encounter. But the district attorney’s office dropped the charges in August 2011, saying prosecutors could no longer ask a jury to believe her.
Diallo had sued Strauss-Kahn in the meantime, with her lawyers saying she would get her day in a different court. Strauss-Kahn called the lawsuit defamatory and countersued for $1 million.
The Associated Press does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo has done.
Associated Press writers Kiley Armstrong and Colleen Long contributed to this report.