Nafissatou Diallo, Maid In Strauss-Kahn Case, Meets With Prosecutors
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) —A lawyer for a hotel maid accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault says his client met with New York City prosecutors for nearly eight hours.
Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Wednesday that the meeting went well, and focused on tapes of two conversations his client, Nafissatou Diallo, had with an incarcerated friend shortly after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. Both sides wanted to get a proper translation that all parties could agree on regarding those phone conversations.
“I never said ‘this guy have a lot of money, I know what I’m doing.’ I never said that,” Diallo said in a TV interview. “I used the words ‘I know what I’m doing’ when he asked me about a lawyer.”
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“The discussion about his wealth never came up. It was about what Dominique Strauss-Kahn did to her. It was about how he tried to rape her — that is critical in this case,” Thompson told reporters.
“I am standing here before you to tell you that Diallo was sexually assaulted and almost raped by one of the most powerful men on earth and that she told her friend, the person in jail, what he did to her the very first time they spoke.”
After all the talk about the district attorney considering dropping or reducing charges against Strauss-Kahn, Diallo made her case to the prosecution in the face-to-face meeting.
A statement from the District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office said the following: “This is a pending criminal case. We will have no comment on evidence, or on any meetings between prosecutors and witnesses, civil attorneys, or defense counsel.”
Thompson has publicly accused the DA’s office of leaking information that damaged the Diallo’s credibility. He has said the only thing more unusual than her decision to give up her anonymity and go public is a prosecutor stabbing a victim in the back.
Nearly two months after the alleged assault at the Sofitel Hotel, Diallo broke her silence this week with interviews in Newsweek and on network TV, saying she did so to defend her reputation.
In the interviews, she detailed what she said happened on May 14 when she walked into Strauss-Kahn’s room to clean.
“I said, sir, stop this. I don’t want to lose my job,” Diallo said. “He pulls me hard to the bed. I cannot get up. He was holding my head so tight, like this. He was holding my head and I close … I cannot even breathe.”
The housekeeper said after the attack, “I run to the hallway. I was so nervous. I was so scared. I didn’t want to lose my job.”
Strauss-Kahn’s attorney called the interviews a last-ditch effort by the housekeeper to extract money from his client.
“We believed from the beginning that this case was not what it appeared to be,” attorney Benjamin Braffman said. “Her lawyers know that her claim for money suffers a fatal blow when the criminal charges are dismissed, as they must be.”
Diallo insisted she didn’t know Strauss-Kahn was a high-profile French politician until seeing reports on the television.
“I said, ‘Oh, my God.’ I was crying, ‘They’re going to kill me. I’m going to die,'” she said.
Diallo’s Wednesday meeting with prosecutors was the first time she’s spoken with them since they publicly announced they had doubts about her credibility.
Strauss-Kahn’s next court date has been postponed to Aug. 23. He faces attempted rape and other charges. He has denied the accusations.
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