Strauss-Kahn, NYC hotel maid settle suit over alleged sexual assault


Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of sexual assault on Monday settled her civil lawsuit against him for an undisclosed sum, ending one chapter of a scandal that cost him his job and a chance to become president of France. At a brief hearing in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, Justice Douglas McKeon said the terms of the deal would remain confidential.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, was not required to appear in New York and remained in Paris. His accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, was present as the judge had ordered, wearing a green blouse with black pants and a gray and white head scarf. "I thank everybody, and I thank God," Diallo said in a brief statement outside the courthouse after the hearing. The hearing took place about seven miles (11 km) from the luxury Manhattan hotel where Diallo claimed the managing director of the IMF attacked her last May. The jet-setting financier spent six nights in custody and resigned. "Ms. Diallo is a strong and courageous woman who never lost faith in our system of justice. With this resolution, she can now move on with her life and we thank everyone for their support and prayers," said her lawyer, Kenneth Thompson. Strauss-Kahn's New York lawyers, William Taylor and Amit Mehta, said in an emailed statement: "On behalf of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, we are pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter. We are grateful to Judge McKeon whose patience and forbearance allowed this agreement to be formulated." The agreement ends Strauss-Kahn's legal woes in the United States, but he faces more court dates in France.

The U.S. scandal erupted on May 14, 2011, when Diallo, 33, told police Strauss-Kahn attacked her at the Sofitel Hotel. She said he emerged naked from the bathroom of his $3,000-a-night suite and forced her to perform oral sex. The accusation led to a frantic scramble by New York police to arrest Strauss-Kahn as he sat aboard a jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport waiting to take off for France that night. The scandal forced Strauss-Kahn to resign as head of one of the world's most influential international finance organizations and wrecked his hopes of running for president in France. He was once seen as a front-runner for the Socialists. Instead Francois Hollande became the candidate and unseated President Nicolas Sarkozky.

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