I 'cry every day': Strauss-Kahn accuser
Nafissatou Diallo, who accuses French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her when she went to clean his hotel room, said Thursday she and her daughter are traumatized.
"We cry every day. We can't sleep," Diallo, an immigrant from the African country of Guinea, said at a packed press conference called to thank her supporters and give her side in the increasingly sensational case.
Diallo said she and her 15-year-old daughter were "going through a lot."
Speaking in a quiet, hesitant voice and nervously clasping her hands, Diallo said it was "too much for me, too much for my daughter."
More than 100 journalists crammed into a Brooklyn church to see Diallo, who revealed her identity on Sunday for the first time since accusing Strauss-Kahn of forcing her into oral sex on May 14 in his Manhattan hotel room.
The unusual strategy of going public has further fueled already high interest in the sensational case.
Prosecutors have expressed doubts about her credibility, suggesting they may drop charges against Strauss-Kahn, who until the alleged incident was a leading French presidential candidate and the head of the International Monetary Fund.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, has denied seven charges of attempted rape and sexual assault arising out of the incident in his Sofitel luxury hotel suite.
And his defense team has called on prosecutors to drop the charges amid doubts over Diallo's credibility.
Her lawyer Kenneth Thompson said if prosecutors do not press charges then Diallo will file a civil suit.
"What she wants is justice and if the prosecutors are not going to bring this case to trial then we have to look for justice and what I look forward to is putting this case before a jury," Thompson said.
Diallo referred to a New York tabloid report claiming that she was a prostitute and said: "A lot of people calling me a lot of bad names. I hear a lot of things, a lot of bad things."
"I say 'God why me, why me?'" she said.
She said her daughter had begged her: "Please, mom, promise me you stop crying. People call you bad names. People say bad things about you because they don't know you.
"You have to remember this guy is powerful man, everybody knows that but for you only the people you work with or are neighbors knows you, those people say good things about you because they know you."
Diallo, dressed in dark grey trousers, a blue jacket and white shirt, left after her brief comments and was followed to the car park by a frantic rush of camera crews.
Strauss-Kahn is not due back in court until August 23 for a hearing which has been delayed several times as prosecutors grapple with the apparently growing possibility that they will not bring the high-profile case to trial.
In an interview with ABC television over the weekend, Diallo talked forcefully in heavily accented, but mostly fluent English about the sequence of events she says took place in the 28th floor suite at the Sofitel hotel.
She recounted the incident, saying Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a leading contender to be the next president of France, emerged naked from a shower to "grab my breasts" and despite her pleas, forced her head down to his penis.
© 2011 AFP