Judge: Strauss-Kahn, NYC hotel maid settle suit
NEW YORK (AP) — Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid settled her lawsuit Monday over sexual assault allegations that sank his political career and spurred scrutiny of his dealings with women on two continents.
The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, looked composed and resolute as state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the confidential deal. Strauss-Kahn stayed in Paris and was mum when asked about the settlement, which came after prosecutors abandoned a related criminal case because they said Diallo had credibility problems.
"I thank everyone who supported me all over the world," Diallo, who has rarely spoken publicly since the May 2011 encounter between her and Strauss-Kahn, said softly after court.
"I thank God, and God bless you all," she added.
In a statement, Strauss-Kahn attorneys William Taylor III and Amit Mehta said the former diplomat was "pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter." They credited the judge with "patience and forbearance" that fostered the agreement.
The lawsuit stemmed from an encounter in Strauss-Kahn's luxury Manhattan hotel suite.
Diallo, a 33-year-old housekeeper from Guinea, told police Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex, tried to rape her and tore a ligament in her shoulder after she arrived to clean his suite. The 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn, who has since separated from his wife, has said what happened was "a moral failing" but was consensual.
The allegations led to his arrest, forced him to resign his IMF post and cut off the Socialist's potential candidacy for the French presidency.
The criminal case was dropped after prosecutors said they couldn't trust Diallo. Among their concerns: She was inconsistent about her actions right after leaving his suite, and she told a compelling but false story of having been raped previously.
She said she always told the truth about Strauss-Kahn and would press her claims in the lawsuit. Strauss-Kahn called her suit defamatory and countersued for $1 million.
The judge said he met Diallo earlier this year and talked with her about the prospect of settlement talks. The negotiations continued, with a lengthy discussion involving the judge late last month, and a final deal was inked just Monday, McKeon said.
"I want to say what a privilege it has been to work with all of you and to work on this case," he told Diallo and the attorneys for both sides.
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