News Column

Strauss-Kahn Settles Rape Case for $ 6 Million

Nov 30, 2012

Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has reached a settlement with New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo to end her lawsuit for attempted rape, U.S. and French media reports said Friday.

Citing unnamed sources the New York Times said Strauss-Kahn, 63, and Diallo, 33, had "quietly" struck a deal to scrap the case.

France's Le Monde said Strauss-Kahn had put $6 million on the table after several visits to New York in recent months to try to settle the case.

Strauss-Kahn and his accuser are set to ink the deal at a meeting on December 7 in the presence of judge Douglas McKeon, the paper reported.

Le Monde cited Strauss-Kahn as telling friends he would take out a loan for $3 million and borrow the rest from his wife Anne Sinclair, a journalist.

Sinclair, who separated from Strauss-Kahn this summer and edits the French edition of the Huffington Post news site, is the heiress to an art collector's fortune.

It was she who posted bail of $1 million and a bond of $5 million after Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 on charges of sexually assaulting Diallo and jailed in the city's notorious Rikers Island prison.

Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, accused the former French finance minister of trying to force himself on her when she arrived to clean his suite at the Sofitel hotel on May 14, 2011.

Strauss-Kahn, who resigned his position as IMF chief over the affair, admitted to a sexual encounter, but insisted it was consensual.

Prosecutors dropped the charges after two months saying they had concerns about Diallo's credibility. But she maintained the allegations in a civil lawsuit, accusing Strauss-Kahn of a "violent and sadistic" attack.

At the time of his arrest Strauss-Kahn had been preparing to announce plans to seek his Socialist Party's nomination to run for president against Nicolas Sarkozy.

The case, which triggered a string of allegations against the high-flying economist, dealt a knockout blow to those ambitions.

French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempted rape during an interview in 2003. Investigators found no evidence to support that claim but said there was evidence to suggest sexual assault - an offence that, by then, fell under the statute of limitations.

He still faces a possible trial in the northern city of Lille, where prosecutors have charged him with involvement in a prostitution ring that supplied women for sex parties organized on his behalf while he was IMF chief. The prosecutors will announce in early January whether the case will go to court.

Strauss-Kahn, whose economic insights are still sought at international conferences, has admitted to participating in sex parties in France, Belgium and Washington, but denied knowing the women were prostitutes.

His lawyers have accused the French media and justice system of being bent on his "ruin."

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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