Strauss-Kahn charges 'fantasy,' say accuser's lawyers

1st December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Accusations in an upcoming book against the hotel chambermaid who accused then-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her are "complete fantasy," the woman's attorneys said Wednesday.

French author Michel Taubmann, a staunch Strauss-Kahn defender, writes in his book to be released Thursday that Nafissatou Diallo was part of a conspiracy to smear the French politician.

Before his arrest in May, Strauss-Kahn had been seen as a favorite to win the 2012 French presidential elections, even though he had not officially thrown his hat into the ring to stand as a candidate for the Socialist party.

But Diallo's lawyers, Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor, hit back at Taubmann's claims.

"Strauss Kahn's absurd claim that Ms. Diallo was told to steal his Blackberry and somehow looked at him seductively and consented to his violent and abusive sexual acts is complete fantasy," they said in a statement.

"We look forward to questioning him at trial about the sick and deranged acts he committed against Ms. Diallo," they said, referring to a civil case filed against Strauss-Kahn.

According to Taubann, Nafissatou entered Strauss-Kahn's posh Manhattan hotel room on May 14 as the ex-IMF chief was leaving his bathroom naked. Nafissatou gave him "a suggestive look," which he took as "a proposal," and the two proceded to have sex.

When Strauss-Kahn left the hotel he realized that his IMF-issued Blackberry phone was missing. The phone "was never found," a Strauss-Kahn associate earlier told AFP in Paris.

Diallo then said that he had attacked her, and Strauss-Kahn was taken off a plane to Paris by police. He resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund as a result of the scandal.

The charges were later dropped after prosecutors said Diallo lied about details of her allegations, but they and subsequent claims of sexual misconduct in France were enough to end Strauss-Kahn's political ambitions.

A recent article in the prestigious New York Review of Books magazine quotes sources saying Strauss-Kahn suspected the missing smartphone had been hacked.

© 2011 AFP

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