NEW YORK (AP) — Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her have reached an agreement to settle her lawsuit, likely ending a legal saga that forced the onetime French presidential contender’s resignation and opened a floodgate of accusations against him, a person familiar with the case said Thursday.
Details of the deal, which comes after prosecutors dropped related criminal charges last year, weren’t immediately known and likely will be veiled by a confidentiality agreement that could prevent the two from speaking publicly about a May 2011 encounter that she called a brutally sudden attack and he termed a consensual “moral failing.”
Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, made the as-yet-unsigned agreement within recent days, with Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon facilitating that and a separate agreement to end another lawsuit Diallo filed against the New York Post, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private agreement. A court date is expected next week, though the day wasn’t set, the person said.
Strauss-Kahn lawyer William W. Taylor III declined to comment. Lawyers for the housekeeper didn’t immediately respond to phone and email messages.
Diallo, 33, and Strauss-Kahn, 63, crossed paths when she arrived to clean his luxury Manhattan hotel suite. She told police he chased her down, tried to yank down her pantyhose and forced her to perform oral sex.
The allegation led to numerous accusations surrounding the married diplomat and economist’s conduct with women; he now faces charges linking him to a suspected prostitution ring in his home country.
With DNA evidence showing a sexual encounter and Diallo providing a gripping description of an attack, the Manhattan district attorney’s office initially said it had a strong and compelling case. But within six weeks, prosecutors’ confidence began to ebb as they said Diallo had lied about her past — including a false account of a previous rape — and her actions after leaving Strauss-Kahn’s room.
Diallo, who’s from Guinea, said she told the truth about their encounter, but the district attorney’s office dropped the charges in August 2011.
Diallo had sued in the meantime, with her lawyers saying she would get her day in a different court. Strauss-Kahn called the lawsuit defamatory and countersued her for $1 million.
Strauss-Kahn initially argued that he had diplomatic immunity, a claim the judge turned down in May.
Diallo’s lawsuit against the Post concerned a series of articles that called her a prostitute and said she sold sex at a hotel where the Manhattan DA’s office had housed her during the criminal case. The News Corp. newspaper has said it stands by its reporting; it declined to comment Thursday.
In helping resolve the cases, the judge averted what could have been an ugly court drama.
Since the New York case was dropped, Strauss-Kahn has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct that further tarnished his reputation.
In France, judges are to decide by Dec. 19 whether to annul charges linking him to a suspected prostitution ring run out of a luxury hotel in Lille. He acknowledges attending “libertine” gatherings but denies knowing that some women present were paid.
In August, a separate case against Strauss-Kahn, centered on allegations of rape in a Washington, D.C., hotel, was dropped after French prosecutors said the accuser, an escort, changed her account to say she wasn’t raped.
Soon after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York last year, French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempting to rape her during an interview in 2003, a claim he called imaginary and slanderous. Prosecutors said they believed the encounter qualified as a sexual assault, but the legal timeframe to pursue her complaint had elapsed.
Strauss-Kahn has separated from his wife, journalist Ann Sinclair, who stood by him through the allegations in New York. The two filed charges against a French magazine, citing invasion of privacy, for reporting they had separated, but Sinclair later acknowledged it was true.
The New York Times first reported the agreement between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.