Maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault in NYC goes public in U.S. media


The front page of the US daily weekly magazine 'Newsweek' announced the interview with the Guinean maid, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused former IMF chief, French Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of sexual assault.


Francios Guillot

The hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, of sexual assault at the New York hotel where she worked has gone public with her identity, and her story, in two media interviews, one on ABC News, and one in Newsweek.

Until now, the maid's identity has been protected in the U.S. media, but she has given permission for her image and her name to be published.

The woman hasn't been seen in public since the alleged assault and said she had been taken to a hotel with her 15-year-old daughter, where she had been kept for two months, according to AFP.

Nafissatou Diallo, the 32-year-old Guinean immigrant who accused Strauss-Kahn of assaulting her in the Sofitel on May 14, told Newsweek that she broke her silence to give her version of events. She maintains that, although there were inconsistencies in her testimony, her story of the alleged attack on May 14 has never wavered.

"I tell them about what this man do to me. It never changed. I know what this man do to me," she says.

The interview with Newsweek was published on the magazine's website on Sunday, while the ABC News interview is scheduled to be broadcast on “Nightline,” “Good Morning America” and “World News with Diane Sawyer” on Monday and Tuesday.

In the interview in Newsweek, Diallo gave a very detailed account of what she alleges happened in the hotel room on May 14, and attempted to address the various questions that have arisen about her credibility. She said she was angry about the way some of the media had portrayed her, and she was angry at Strauss-Kahn:

“Because of him they call me a prostitute,” she said. “I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money.” She said she hoped God punishes him. “We are poor, but we are good,” she said. “I don’t think about money.”

(Read GlobalPost: Hotel maid who accused DSK pulled "double-duty" as a hooker, paper reports)

In the interview, which occurred at her lawyer's office in New York City, Diallo told Newsweek that Strauss-Kahn was naked when he slammed his hotel suite's door shut and tried to make her perform oral sex on him, according to CNN.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested later that day at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he had boarded a plane bound for Europe. His arrest prompted his resignation as the head of the IMF, after a New York judge ordered him held under house arrest.

(Read GlobalPost: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn held in NY over alleged sex assault of hotel maid)

The interviews with Newsweek and ABC were set up by her lawyer after prosecutors said that the case against Strauss-Kahn had been hurt by problems with her testimony and her credibility, according to the Financial Times. Manhattan prosecutors revealed that they had discovered that Diallo had lied to authorities on a number of points, including fabricating a story about being raped in Guinea in order to receive asylum in the U.S., Reuters said. She also reportedly changed details of her story about the events after the alleged assault. Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest, but is required to stay in the U.S.

(Read GlobalPost: Strauss-Kahn sexual-assault case near collapse as serious questions about accuser surface)

Strauss-Kahn, who was charged with two counts of committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching and unlawful imprisonment, entered a plea of not guilty.

(Read GlobalPost: Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty on sex assault charges)

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, released a statement about Diallo's interviews, saying:

“Ms Diallo is the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money,” they said.

The accusations in New York were followed by a French writer, Tristane Banon, accusing Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in 2003, according to AFP.

(Read GlobalPost: French accuser to sue Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape)