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Strauss-Kahn, hotel housekeeper settle civil suit

Financial terms of agreement are not disclosed

Nafissatou Diallo, who said Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her, was at the hearing in the Bronx courtroom.

Seth Wenig/AFP/Getty Images

Nafissatou Diallo, who said Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her, was at the hearing in the Bronx courtroom.

NEW YORK — The former French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the hotel housekeeper who accused him of sexually assaulting her last year have agreed to settle her lawsuit stemming from their sexual encounter, a judge said Monday.

The settlement was announced at a hearing in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, 8 miles from the headline-grabbing case’s genesis: a 28th-floor suite at the Sofitel hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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Justice Douglas E. McKeon entered the courtroom Monday afternoon and said a deal had been finalized in his presence about 10 minutes earlier. Both sides agreed that the settlement would be confidential.

The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who went public with her identity last year, was at the hearing and said afterward: ‘‘I thank everyone all over the world and everyone at the court. God bless you all.’’

Strauss-Kahn, who was not in court, was arrested in May 2011 after Diallo told detectives that he had sexually assaulted her in his suite. Strauss-Kahn was indicted on charges including attempted rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, and forcible touching.

The arrest threw Strauss-Kahn’s career in turmoil: He resigned his post as head of the International Monetary Fund in disgrace and his rumored candidacy for the French presidency was abandoned before it could begin. He was first held in jail without bail, and won his release to house arrest only under extraordinary conditions.

But the criminal case began to crumble when questions of Diallo’s credibility convinced the Manhattan district attorney’s office that it could not reasonably persuade a jury to trust her account.

The case was dismissed in August 2011; court papers at the time described Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, as having been ‘‘persistently, and at times inexplicably, untruthful in describing matters of both great and small significance.’’

But by then, Diallo had filed her civil suit in the Bronx, where she lives.

Strauss-Kahn has said the sex with Diallo was consensual, though in a French television interview after the criminal case was dismissed, he acknowledged that the encounter was ‘‘an error’’ and ‘‘a moral failure’’ that he would forever regret. Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer for Diallo, called her ‘‘a strong and courageous woman who never lost faith in the justice system. With this resolution, she can move on with her life.’’

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers William Taylor III and Amit Mehta thanked the judge.

‘‘On behalf of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, we are pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter,’’ they said. ‘‘We are grateful to Judge McKeon whose patience and forbearance allowed this agreement to be formulated.’’

Diallo, 33, told police Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex and tried to rape her after she arrived to clean his suite.

The 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn, who has since separated from his wife, called Diallo’s suit defamatory and countersued for $1 million.

The judge said Monday he first met with Diallo earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. ‘‘At that time we discussed her willingness to allow settlement negotiations to take place in this case,’’ he said.

‘‘I've developed a great affection for all of you,’’ the judge continued, referring to the parties, ‘‘and have gotten to know Ms. Diallo through the time that I spent with her. I want to say what a privilege it has been to work with all of you and to work on this case.’’

After Diallo came forward, other sexual allegations emerged against Strauss-Kahn, who had been known as a womanizer in France.

French 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 says he didn’t know about any women getting paid to participate.

Another inquiry, centered on allegations of rape in a hotel in Washington, was dropped after French prosecutors said the accuser, an escort, changed her account to say she wasn’t forced to have sex.

Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.
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