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Strauss-Kahn, New York hotel worker settle lawsuit claiming sexual assault

Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves his apartment in Paris, Monday. He was not required to appear at the hearing in New York.

A New York City hotel worker has settled a civil lawsuit she filed against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, whom she accused of sexual assault, a New York judge said on Monday.

The agreement ends a legal saga that began when Nafissatou Diallo, 33, told police that Strauss-Kahn attacked her in his suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan on May 14, 2011. Her suit alleged that a naked Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom in his $3,000-a-night suite and forced her to perform oral sex.

Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the two sides had reached a deal to end the litigation, but said details of the settlement, including the amount of any damages to be paid to Diallo, will not be made public.


The scandal forced Strauss-Kahn to resign his post as head of one of the world's most influential international finance organizations and wrecked his hopes of running for president in his native France. Prosecutors initially expressed confidence in the evidence, including DNA that showed a sexual encounter. But they dropped the criminal case in August 2011 after developing concerns about Diallo's credibility, including what they said were inconsistencies in her account of what happened immediately following the incident.

 


Accusers in such cases often hide from the media glare, and many media outlets protect their identities by not revealing their names.

But Diallo, the daughter of an imam from Guinea, broke her silence in July 2011, while the criminal investigation was still active, revealing her identity in interviews to Newsweek and ABC News.

She filed her civil lawsuit just weeks before the charges were dismissed, claiming he forced her to perform oral sex and caused her physical and emotional damage.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, filed a countersuit earlier this year against Diallo for defamation. He has said the sexual encounter was consensual but has admitted it was a "moral error."

The resolution of the civil case brings Strauss-Kahn closer to ending his legal troubles, which have persisted since his return to France after the initial incident.

Strauss-Kahn is awaiting a decision by a French court on his request to halt an inquiry to determine whether he should stand trial on pimping charges related to sex parties attended by him and by prostitutes.

He has quietly begun to resume his career in recent months, delivering speeches at private conferences and setting up a consulting firm in Paris.

Strauss-Kahn was not required to appear personally in court in New York, but the judge ordered Diallo to be present.

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