Maid's US lawyer hits out at Strauss-Kahn interview

19th September 2011, Comments 1 comment

A lawyer for the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her criticized the former IMF chief on Sunday for not disclosing what happened during the encounter.

"What was interesting is what he didn't say," Douglas Wigdor, who represents Guinean maid Nafissatou Diallo, told AFP by telephone.

"He didn't say anything about what actually happened."

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was taken into custody shortly after Diallo, an employee at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan, alleged that Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her on May 14. The charges were dropped last month.

The French Socialist politician and economist was interviewed on France's TF1 network news channel by a friend of his wife and said the encounter with Diallo had been a "moral failing." But he denied assaulting her.

Wigdor, however, slammed the interview and said his client would pursue civil action against Strauss-Kahn, who has since returned to France from the United States.

"I look forward to questioning him under oath in my office. We are going to pursue that case aggressively," the lawyer said.

"We are going to use all our resources to see that Miss Diallo's rights are vindicated and that Mr Strauss-Kahn is held accountable for his actions."

Strauss-Kahn said in the interview that he would not agree to a legal deal to cut short Diallo's civil action against him.

"What happened involved neither violence nor constraint: no criminal act," he said sternly when asked what had happened in suite 2806 shortly before his arrest on sex assault charges.

Diallo's French lawyer, Thibault de Montbrial, branded the interview "a public relations exercise, without any spontaneity, neither in the questions nor the replies -- scripted down to each gesture."

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • reader posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 08:33:35 - Reply

    I still cannot understand why Diallo and her lawyers insist on a civil case to get compensated for an act of assault which has not been proven in court to have happened.

    Do I understand then that in the U.S., anybody can lie about being assaulted and file a civil case for financial compensation? Great!

    I can understand the lawyers' desperation to get paid by Diallo for the number of hours and the expenses they incurred, but to think they could get compensated by pushing on with a civil case which has no basis is just ridiculous!