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07-25-11, 06:40 AM #1
Hotel maid goes public with allegations against ex-IMF chiefOn May 14, Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn -- who besides being a global economic leader had been mentioned as a leading contender for the French presidency -- of assaulting her at Manhattan's Sofitel Hotel, where she was an employee. He was charged in New York with sexual abuse and attempted rape, pleading not guilty on all counts.
In an interview conducted at her lawyer's office in New York City, Diallo told Newsweek that Strauss-Kahn was naked when he slammed the door shut to his luxury hotel room, forced himself upon her and tried to make her perform oral sex on him.
"Because of him they call me a prostitute," Diallo said, referring to published reports she had sex for money. "I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."
The 32-year-old native of Guinea told the magazine she was "nervous" and "scared" when she eventually ran from the room, ending an incident that took about 15 minutes.
Yet the fallout has been far more extensive, and continues.
Strauss-Kahn was initially arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport while on board a Paris-bound plane. His arrest created an international furor, prompting his resignation as IMF chief as New York Judge Michael Obus ordered him held under a $6 million bail.
After posting bond, Strauss-Kahn had been confined to a luxury townhouse. But on July 1, the judge freed him from house arrest after prosecutors presented evidence showing that Diallo admitted she had lied about the specifics of her whereabouts after the incident and, from her past, the details of an asylum application and information she put on tax forms.
But while the case took a dramatic turn, the charges against the 62-year-old have not been dismissed. And there have been more twists in recent weeks, including writer Tristane Banon's filing of a complaint accusing Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in France, stemming from an alleged 2003 incident in Paris. A lawyer for Strauss-Kahn in France said he subsequently filed a counter-claim against Banon for false declarations.
Still, most of the intrigue remains centered in the United States, where lawyers for the suspect and the defendant continue to go back and forth challenging each other's tactics. Diallo's interviews further stoked those fires, prompting strongly worded responses from both sides.
On Sunday, Strauss-Kahn's U.S.-based attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman issued a statement chastising Diallo for talking with the media, claiming she is "the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money."
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