Business, Finance & Economics

VIDEO: The Sofitel footage that lawyers say proves sex assault claims against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Video surveillance footage from the Sofitel Hotel in New York on the night Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a maid has found its way to YouTube.

The footage, broadcast by French television station BFMTV late Thursday and widely circulated since, show Strauss-Kahn (DSK) — at the time the International Monetary Fund chief — checking out of the hotel May 14, as well as his accuser, chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo, apparently reporting his alleged sexual assault to hotel managers.

The video also shows two hotel managers in what The Atlantic Wire describes as "their now-infamous 'victory dance' first mentioned in Edward Jay Epstein's in-depth investigation published in the New York Review of Books." 

DSK is also seen paying his bill and then — apparently calmly — leaving the hotel and getting into a taxi.

It is now well known that DSK was pulled out of first-class on a Paris-bound Air France minutes before takeoff by police to answer rape charges, which were later dismissed by a Manhattan magistrate.

(GlobalPost reports: All charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn dismissed)

However, DSK has since admitted to "consensual but stupid" sexual relations with Diallo in a new book called "Affaires DSK: La Contre-enquête" ("DSK Affairs: The Counter-Investigation"), a collaboration with his biographer Michel Taubmann, Reuters reported Nov. 30.

Taubmann, meantime, has accused "a small group of people from the Sofitel" of having ensnared DSK in a "trap."

However, in a statement Thursday, Sofitel's parent company, French hotel group Accor, reportedly said: "The idea that these videos prove Accor's involvement in a conspiracy is nonsense."

The two staffers in the video told an Accor attorney they had "no knowledge of the political status of Dominique Strauss-Kahn before this tape excerpt," the statement said. "They also reaffirmed that they could not remember exactly the reasons for this 'congratulatory action,"' or dance.

No one has claimed responsibility for releasing the footage, which lawyers for Diallo say provides "further proof" that Diallo was telling the truth about DSK — once considered a good chance to win the French presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 — attacking her in his suite shortly before he checked out.

The "surveillance tape is further proof that Ms. Diallo is telling the truth about the brutal sexual attack," attorneys Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor said in a statement Thursday, CBS News reported.

Images showed Diallo seated in a corridor and being looked after by Sofitel employees after she said DSK attacked her.

A hotel employee is shown and heard calling police to inform them of the alleged attack.