AP source: Strauss-Kahn, NY hotel maid to settle
Strauss-Kahn initially said he had diplomatic immunity, an argument the judge turned down in May. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers had since asked McKeon to throw out part of her claim for other legal reasons. Court records show the judge had yet to rule on that and several other legal issues, and it appeared that a high-stakes step — depositions, or pretrial questioning under oath — had not yet been taken. Depositions can give both sides information and a better picture of how strong the key parties and other witnesses might be in court.
While the vast majority of civil cases end in settlements, some legal observers were surprised that the deal between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo came before the legal arguments were resolved.
"I really expected it to go a little farther," said Matthew Galluzzo, a criminal defense lawyer and civil litigator who has been following the Strauss-Kahn case closely.
Still, the case likely had taken a toll on both Diallo, a single mother of a teenage daughter, and Strauss-Kahn, who has found himself plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct that further tarnished his reputation. The Socialist had been seen as a potential leading candidate for the French presidency before his New York arrest.
In France, judges are to decide by Dec. 19 whether to annul charges linking him to a suspected prostitution ring run out of a luxury hotel in Lille. He acknowledges attending "libertine" gatherings but denies knowing that some women present were paid.
In August, a separate case against Strauss-Kahn, centered on allegations of rape in a Washington, D.C., hotel, was dropped after French prosecutors said the accuser, an escort, changed her account to say she wasn't raped.
Soon after Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York last year, French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempting to rape her during an interview in 2003, a claim he called imaginary and slanderous. Prosecutors said they believed the encounter qualified as a sexual assault, but the legal timeframe to pursue her complaint had elapsed.
The Associated Press does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo and Banon have done.
Strauss-Kahn has separated from his wife, journalist and heiress Anne Sinclair, who stood by him through the allegations in New York. The two said they were filing a lawsuit this summer against a French magazine, citing invasion of privacy, for reporting they had split, but Sinclair later acknowledged it was true.
The New York Times first reported the agreement between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo.
Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.
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