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Entries in Dominique Strauss-Kahn (30)

Tuesday
May152012

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Files $1M Suit Against NYC Hotel Maid

Jim Spellman/Wire Image(WASHINGTON) -- On the day he may well have been sworn in as the new president of France, former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn filed a million dollar countersuit against the New York City hotel maid whose accusation of attempted rape cost him his job and derailed his political aspirations.

In court papers filed in the Bronx, Strauss-Kahn said he suffered “grievous harm” to his personal and professional reputation, “emotional distress” and financial hardship because of what he called Nafissatou Diallo’s “malicious and wanton false accusation.” 

It was a year ago Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn, once one of the world’s most prominent bankers, of trying to sexually assault her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel in Times Square.  Criminal charges were dismissed when prosecutors came to question Diallo’s credibility.

“Ms. Diallo’s conduct,” Strauss-Kahn’s lawsuit said, “was so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”

Diallo’s attorneys, Ken Thompson and Douglas Wigdor, called the countersuit a “desperate ploy” in a statement provided to ABC News.

“One year to the day of his brutal sexual assault of Ms. Diallo,” they wrote, “this is yet another example that personifies Strauss-Kahn’s misogynistic attitude.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Aug302011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Visits IMF, Apologizes for Scandal

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid a visit to the Washington D.C. headquarters of the International Monetary Fund Monday to say farewell to staffers and to meet with his successor, less than a week after New York prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against him.

William Murray, a spokesman for the IMF, said Strauss-Kahn met with current managing director Christine Lagarde and other staffers.

One IMF staffer told AFP that Strauss-Kahn addressed employees and said he wanted to “apologize to those who have been hurt” by the scandal.  The staffer said the former IMF head said he was sorry the case had a negative impact on the organization.

Strauss-Kahn resigned as the head of the IMF in May after he was charged with attempted rape and criminal sexual contact in connection with an alleged attack on a Manhattan hotel maid.  All criminal charges have been dismissed, but Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.

Strauss-Kahn, a leader in France's Socialist Party, has expressed a desire to return home, but it’s unclear if he still intends to run for president in an effort to unseat incumbent Nikolas Sarkozy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Judge Dismisses Charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A judge in New York on Tuesday threw out the sexual assault case brought against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief and French presidential hopeful.

The ruling came shortly after the judge rejected a plea by Strauss-Kahn's accuser, hotel maid Naifissatou Diallo, to have the Manhattan district attorney's office replaced by a special prosecutor.

New York Criminal Court Judge Michael Obus granted a motion from prosecutors to dismiss all charges against the international power broker known simply as DSK, ending a highly publicized prosecution without answering the question of what really happened between Strauss-Kahn and the maid assigned to clean his hotel suite.

"I see no basis to deny that application" to dismiss the charges, Obus said. The judge stayed the order pending any appellate issues.

Defense attorneys said Strauss-Kahn would not return Tuesday to France but to his townhouse in New York.

Following the ruling, Strauss-Kahn walked out of court without answering questions from reporters, but released a statement shortly after saying he was grateful that the "nightmare" was over.

What was once viewed as a "strong" case based on an "unwavering" accuser fell apart amid "substantial" questions about the maid's credibility.

Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and Artie McConnell said the accuser "provided shifting and inconsistent versions of the events" and therefore they can't be sure "of what actually happened."

"We were no longer able to credit her version beyond a reasonable doubt," Illuzzi-Orbon said in court.

"We respectfully request that the court dismiss the indictment," she said.

During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath. Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.

Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Prosecutors File Motion to Dismiss Strauss-Kahn Charges

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to dismiss sexual assault charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, citing questions about his accuser's truthfulness.

Strauss-Kahn had been accused of sexually assaulting Sofitel Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in May.

In a 25-page motion filed with Judge Michael Obus, prosecutors said "evidence gathered in our post indictment investigation severely undermined her reliability as a witness in this case."

During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath.  Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.

"If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so," Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said.

Obus is not expected to rule on the dismissal request until Tuesday, when Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to appear in court, possibly for the last time related to these charges.

Diallo's attorney says his client is "devastated" by the decision to abandon the criminal case.

Kenneth Thompson said he still believes there is sufficient physical evidence to overcome any doubts prosecutors have about the hotel maid's credibility.  He told ABC News that Monday's meeting involving three prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Thompson and Diallo "was hostile."

"Joan Illuzzi basically told Ms. Diallo that they were dismissing the case, claiming because she lied to them," Thompson said.  "They totally disrespected Ms. Diallo by walking out on her while she was trying to ask them a question."

The district attorney's office by practice does not comment on meetings between lawyers.

Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.

"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.  "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible.  Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the District Attorney's office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further.  We look forward to attending the hearing on Tuesday."

In what may have been a last-ditch attempt to change the anticipated outcome of the crumbling case, lawyers for Diallo had earlier filed a motion to disqualify Vance from the case.

"The Manhattan District Attorney has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case.  He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case," Thompson said in a statement Monday afternoon.

In the filing to disqualify Vance, Thompson said Vance "has sabotaged defendant Strauss-Kahn's prosecution."  He said Vance's handling of the case "has been inadequate and troubling."

Thompson accused Vance's office of treating his client "abusively."  He said the office failed to refute a New York Post article that called Diallo a hooker.

Thompson also claimed the DA's office was predisposed to dismissing a case it once called "strong."  He says an assistant district attorney told Diallo's counsel, "No one with half a brain would ever put her on the stand."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Strauss-Kahn Case May Take Dramatic Turn

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office are seeking to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ABC News has learned.

(NEW YORK) -- The highly publicized prosecution of former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn may take a dramatic turn, and possibly end altogether, Monday.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has summoned the hotel maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, Nafissatou Diallo, to a meeting Monday afternoon. At that meeting prosecutors may reveal to her whether they intend to go forward with the case.

"While we remain hopeful that the District Attorney will decide to continue with the prosecution of Mr. Strauss-Kahn given the mountain of physical evidence demonstrating that he sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo on May 14, we are not confident that he will do so," said Douglas Wigdor, one of Diallo's attorneys.

Wigdor and his partner Kenneth Thompson are seeking to disqualify Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from the case. They say they believe he is no longer impartial and they're seeking to move the case to another prosecutor's office. This kind of motion is rarely granted.

There was no immediate comment from the district attorney's spokeswoman.

Prosecutors have come to doubt the case, which once appeared strong, because of what they call "substantial credibility issues" related to Diallo's background and conduct.

Questions have arisen surrounding what happened immediately after the alleged attack and have led the Manhattan District Attorney's office to consider whether to drop the charges amid concerns about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo said she was in the hall when Strauss-Kahn left the suite, but hotel records show she briefly went into another room, and then re-entered Strauss-Kahn's suite.

Diallo has also admitted to lying on her tax returns and lying about the details of a rape in her home country of Guinea that helped her to achieve asylum in the United States -- but she says that it is irrelevant to what she says happened in Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges. His attorneys have suggested the encounter in the Sofitel Hotel suite May 14 was consensual. His attorneys have portrayed Diallo as a woman out for money.

If charges against Strauss-Kahn are dismissed, as his attorneys have said they must be, a dramatic prosecution would end without answering the question of what really happened between one of the world's most powerful men and an immigrant maid inside the hotel suite.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug212011

Strauss-Kahn Accuser Nafissatou Diallo to Meet With Prosecutors

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York City prosecutors are scheduled to meet Monday with the hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape.

The meeting will occur one day before a scheduled court appearance fir Strauss-Kahn, at which prosecutors could announce whether they will go forward with criminal charges.

The accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, will attend the meeting Monday, according to her attorneys Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor, who say they believe Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance intends to drop all or part of the sexual assault case.

"While we remain hopeful that the District Attorney will decide to continue with the prosecution of Mr. Strauss-Kahn given the mountain of physical evidence demonstrating that he sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo on May 14, we are not confident that he will do so," Wingdor said.

Vance's spokeswoman has declined to comment.

Initially prosecutors said they believed Diallo's encounter with the former chief of the International Monetary Fund "strongly suggested something other than a consensual act."

But for the last several weeks they have been reassessing the "strength of the case," which they say has been affected by "substantial credibility issues" related to Diallo's background, personal information and conduct immediately after the encounter inside the Sofitel Hotel.

"The fact this case has been drenched in publicity could have affected its course," said Royal Oakes, an attorney in Los Angeles who is not involved in the case. "It's very possible that the accuser felt she had to fight back against all the accusations against her by filing a lawsuit for damages and yet ironically that step might have convinced prosecutors that her credibility is vulnerable."

Diallo has filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages of an unspecified amount for "severe mental anguish and emotional distress" she said she suffered at the hands of Strauss-Kahn.

The lawsuit opened the door to attacks by Strauss-Kahn's attorneys that Diallo is seeking financial gain.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug082011

Strauss-Kahn Accuser Files Civil Suit Alleging "Sadistic Attack"

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a New York hotel filed a civil lawsuit Monday.

In a 16-page civil lawsuit filed Monday in the Bronx, Nafissatou Diallo accuses Dominique Strauss-Kahn of a “violent and sadistic attack” that robbed her of “her dignity as a woman.”   

Even as Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance decides whether to go forward with a criminal case, Diallo, in a civil suit, says Strauss-Kahn caused her “severe mental anguish and emotional distress from which she may never fully recover.” She is asking for a damage award of an unspecified amount.

The suit comes two weeks before Strauss-Kahn’s next scheduled court date Aug. 23.  Prosecutors, meanwhile, have been weighing “concerns” about Diallo’s credibility.

Her civil suit portrays an encounter between “a man who had aspirations to become the next president of France” and “an innocent hardworking immigrant woman from Africa whom he had never met.”

The suit is detailed and graphic in its description of Diallo’s version of the encounter and its aftermath.  It quotes from news accounts to demonstrate the “public humiliation, shame, scorn and disdain throughout the world” it says were brought to bear against her.

The play-by-play of the encounter is consistent with the version Diallo gave in her interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.  

“I want to let people know the truth,” Diallo said in the interview.  “I have to tell the truth.”

The suit notes, without specifics, alleged prior acts: “With violence and depravity in his heart and having the confidence of sexually assaulting other women in the past who did not immediately come forward Defendant Strauss-Kahn forced Ms. Diallo all the way to the back of the suite and down on her knees outside of a bathroom at the end of the corridor.”

Diallo’s attorneys are prepared to call as witnesses other women “who were sexually attacked” by Strauss-Kahn in hotel rooms, in apartments, at his place of business or “who were going about their normal day.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Maid in Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Holds Press Conference

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nafissatou Diallo continued her recent campaign Thursday to defend her honor against allegations that she was lying about being sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Since Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn of forcing her to perform oral sex last May in the luxury New York hotel where she worked as a maid, the 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea has faced allegations that she was trying to shake down her alleged attacker for money, and that she's led a shady past that included being a prostitute.

Prosecutors in the case, who re-interviewed Diallo extensively earlier this week, have also cast doubts about her story, leading Strauss-Kahn to be freed from house arrest while he awaits trial.

After giving interviews to ABC News and Newsweek magazine to dispel notions she was making the story up, Diallo appeared at a news conference Thursday with community and religious leaders to issue a short statement that suggested she had unfairly become the perpetrator rather than a victim.

Among other things, Diallo said, "I hear a lot of bad things that they're calling me.  That's why I have to be here and let people know that a lot of things they say about me is not true."

The maid also said that she's been through a lot and that she cries every day.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn's next court date is scheduled for August 23.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul282011

Attorney for Nafissatou Diallo Says Taped Conversation Was Misinterpreted

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The attorney for Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, said a taped conversation between his client and a friend had been misinterpreted.

“The quote attributed to Nafi, "He has a lot of money.  And I know what to do" is NOT on the tape according to a Fulani interpreter retained by the District Attorney's Office,” Ken Thompson said.

That conversation is, in part, what led Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to have “concerns” about Diallo’s credibility.  Prosecutors from his office spent almost eight hours with Diallo Wednesday as they consider whether to go forward with the case.  

Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for Vance, declined to comment on the substance of the conversation, saying “This is a pending criminal case.  We will have no comment on evidence, or on any meetings between prosecutors and witnesses, civil attorneys, or defense counsel.”

Strauss-Kahn has denied all criminal wrongdoing and his attorneys have said all charges must be dismissed.

Diallo broke her public silence this week in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News during which she said she “wants justice” and wants Strauss-Kahn to go to jail.  Today she will appear in Brooklyn to thank her supporters.

The phone call that raised questions inside the district attorney’s office was between Diallo and an inmate at an Arizona immigration jail, someone Diallo describes as a “friend.”   

When prosecutors first heard the recordings they believed Diallo alluded to Strauss-Kahn’s money.  Thompson said after listening to the recordings on Wednesday he heard something different.

“Nafi Diallo was sexually assaulted and almost raped by one of the most powerful men on earth and that she told her friend, the person in jail, what he did to her the very first time they spoke. That is critical, because many of you are under the impression that the first time they spoke they were talking about how to get his money,” Thompson said.

The phone call is not the only reason prosecutors have said they have to reassess the strength of their case.  Diallo lied on her application for asylum and investigators believe she told them two different stories about what happened in the aftermath of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.

In her interview with ABC News Diallo conceded she made “mistakes” but said they should not preclude the district attorney’s office from bringing Strauss-Kahn to trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul262011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Hearing Delayed as Prosecutor Mulls Evidence

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York prosecutors have postponed the next hearing in the alleged sexual assault by French money man Dominique Strauss-Kahn while prosecutors determine whether the case is strong enough to prosecute despite alleged lies and altered statements by his accuser.

The postponement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance comes a day after Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, spoke about her case on ABC News and in Newsweek, multiple persons involved in the case tell ABC News.

The district attorney had not decided by Tuesday whether or not to go forward in the case, and it was unclear what effect, if any, the decision by Diallo to go public with her version of the alleged sexual assault may have on the prosecution's determination.

The next hearing for Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was expected to run for the presidency of France, had been scheduled for Aug. 1. It has now been pushed back to Aug. 23, according to the prosecutor's office.

"The investigation into this pending criminal case is continuing. We will have no further comment," said Erin Duggan, director of communications for Vance.

While the district attorney remained circumspect in his statement, defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn were forceful in calling for a dismissal, using the postponement as the latest vehicle for public assertions of their client's innocence.

"We have consented to a postponement of the status hearing before Judge [Michael] Obus from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23. We understand the district attorney is continuing to investigate," attorneys Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor said in a statement. "We hope that by Aug. 23 he will have reached the decision to dismiss."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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