PARIS, Nov 30 – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former IMF chief, has agreed to pay $6 million (Sh515 million) to settle a lawsuit brought by a Manhattan maid who accused him of sexual assault, reports said on Friday.
France’s Le Monde newspaper reports in its Saturday edition that the former frontrunner for the French presidency has told friends that he has agreed to pay hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo that amount in order to end an 18-month legal saga.
The Le Monde article followed a report in the New York Times that 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn and Diallo had “quietly reached an agreement to settle.”
According to Le Monde, Strauss-Kahn will raise the money by borrowing $3 million from a bank and the rest from his estranged wife, Anne Sinclair, a former newsreader who inherited a fortune from her art dealer father.
Judge Douglas McKeon, who is presiding over the civil case, told AFP “there may be a court session as early as next week,” but declined to comment on the reports of a settlement.
Diallo’s legal team would not comment but Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers dismissed Le Monde’s report as a fantasy.
A statement read: “Neither Dominique Strauss-Kahn nor his advocates intend to comment on the case under way in the United States. But they vigorously deny the imaginary and mistaken report carried by Le Monde.”
Strauss-Kahn suffered a stunning fall from grace following his arrest last year on the basis of Diallo’s allegation that he had leapt on her in his room at New York’s Sofitel hotel and forced her to perform oral sex.
He said there had been a sexual encounter but that it was consensual.
Prosecutors eventually threw out the charges after deciding that discrepancies in the maid’s testimony meant the case would not stand up.
By then Strauss-Kahn’s career was in tatters, his marriage was on the rocks and he was facing a string of other sex-related investigations in France as well as the civil case.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers repeatedly said they would not agree to a pay-off deal while Diallo’s legal team played up claims she wanted her day in court to confront her alleged abuser.
Strauss-Kahn will learn on December 19 if he is to face further investigation into pimping charges arising from allegations that he and associates arranged sex parties with prostitutes in the northern French city of Lille.
His lawyers have filed a request for the charges to be dismissed.
French prosecutors last month dropped an investigation into Strauss-Kahn’s alleged participation in a gang rape after the woman involved said she had consented and was not pressing charges.
After his return to France, Strauss-Kahn was accused by 32-year-old author Tristane Banon of trying to rape her in 2002.
French investigating magistrates questioned Strauss-Kahn and his accuser and concluded that while there appeared to be evidence of a sexual assault, the alleged attack had occurred too long ago to be prosecuted.