NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was bombshell development Monday in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex assault case. As prosecutors continued to weigh taking the case to trial, the accuser took action — suing him for damages.
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She’s already broken her silence, breaking down in public, adamant she was violated. Now, Nafissatou Diallo is going after the former head of the International Monetary Fund monetarily, claiming sexual assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“The question really isn’t why, it’s why now?” prominent New York attorney Ronald Fishetti told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
Fishetti is following the case, and said there’s no disputing something happened between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo.
In the lawsuit, she’s describes Strauss-Kahn as “a naked man with white hair… who…grabbed her breasts against her will…Pushed her into a bedroom…Attempted to forcibly make her perform oral sex on him…”
But Fishetti said filing suit now for unspecified monetary damages, gives Diallo a motive and Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers a reason to say, “you see? That’s why she’s making these allegations, for money,” Fishetti said.
Still, the lawsuit claims Diallo ”did not know that defendant Strauss-Kahn was the head of the IMF…” at the time of the incident last May. It also corrects media reports that she continued working after the alleged attack, saying “contrary to some reports, at no point and time did Ms. Diallo go back and clean.”
“We crying everyday, we can’t sleep,” Diallo said during a recent press conference.
There’s no telling if her anguish will turn into dollars. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is still weighing whether Diallo’s story is credible enough to go forward with the criminal case at all.
And Fishetti said the lawsuit doesn’t help.
“I’d wait until the case was over, because if he was convicted, then she can sue and she wins automatically,” Fishetti said.
So once again, there’s no dollar amount attached to this lawsuit but an open-ended request for damages. Strauss-Kahn’s defense team released a statement Monday night saying they’ve maintained all along this is about money and will defend the case vigorously.
Do you think this is a legitimate claim or more of an attempted money grab? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.