Dominique Strauss-Kahn Sex Accuser Speaks Out
MANHATTAN - One minute, Nafissatou Diallo was a maid toiling away in a Midtown hotel that catered to the rich and powerful.
The next, the 32-year-old Guinean immigrant was at the center of a criminal sex investigation that exploded in the headlines and rocked the world of French politics.
Until now, Diallo has maintained her silence about the alleged May attack by former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but after her credibility was called into question by prosecutors, she is speaking out for the first time, according to Newsweek.
"Because of him they call me a prostitute," Diallo told the magazine. The New York Post published accounts making those allegations, for which it was sued.
"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."
Diallo says that she had been told by a room-service waiter that Strauss-Kahn's suite at the Sofitel was free for cleaning, according to the report.
When she announced herself, she initially got no response. Then a naked man appeared, Newsweek said.
She apologized and turned to leave, but Strauss-Kahn, pounced, grabbing her breasts, slamming the door and wrestling her to the bedroom, she told the mag.
"I said, 'Sir, stop this. I don't want to lose my job," she told Newsweek. "I didn't look at him. I was so afraid. I didn't expect anyone in the room."
She said he then tried to force her to perform oral sex, but she resisted, pushing him away, according to the account.
Diallo said that Strauss-Kahn then led her to the bathroom at the hotel where she has worked for three years, ripped her pantyhose and forced her to have oral sex with him.
"I got up," she told Newsweek. "I was spitting. I run. I run out of there. I don't turn back."
According to the report, she said she fled to the corner of the hallway and "was standing there spitting.
"I was so alone. I was so scared."
In the meantime, she saw Strauss-Kahn emerge from the room and make a bee-line for the elevator, glancing at her along the way.
"I don't know how he got dressed so fast, and with baggage," she told the mag.
Diallo, who is illiterate, braided hair and worked at a friend's store in the Bronx before going to the Sofitel, the report said. In April, she was assigned to the 28th floor, where Strauss-Kahn's room was, because another worker had gone on maternity leave, the report said.
After the alleged attack, Diallo returned to another room where she had left her cleaning supplies and then went back to Strauss-Kahn's room. That sequence of events has been disputed by prosecutors.
She says that when she told her supervisor, "she said, 'The guest is a VIP guest, but I don't give a damn.'" Another encouraged her to call the police, according to the report.
When she was brought to the Special Victims Unit to do a lineup, "my heart was like this she said," pounding her chest, according to the report, but she knew right away who it was.
The case has been thrown into chaos after prosecutors assailed Diallo's credibility in a letter to Strauss-Kahn's defense attorney, saying that she lied about elements of her personal background, including her life in Africa and was inconsistent in her account of the events that allegedly occurred in the Sofitel.
In the wake of the shakeup, Strauss-Kahn was freed without bail and released from house arrest.
Prosecutors also broached the subject of a phone call between Diallo and an acquaintance, Amara Tarawally, who was allegedly busted in a pot-buying sting operation in Arizona, the magazine reported.
During the conversation, she and Tarawally discussed the case and money, according to a New York Times piece.
According to Newsweek, Diallo admits that she embellished her 2003 application for political asylum, which was also a point of contention with prosecutors. She said that she was raped by soldiers and underwent female genital mutilation.
However, she maintains that she has told the truth when it came to the Strauss-Kahn case.
"I tell them about what this man do to me," she told Newsweek. "It never changed. I know what this man do to me."
In a scathing statement to ABC News, Strauss-Kahn's attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, blasted Diallo.
"Ms. Diallo 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," the statement said. "Her lawywers and public relations consultants have orchestrated an unprecdented number of media events and rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them.
"It is time for this media circus to stop."
But Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson, delivered a shot back.
"Strauss-Kahn's defense attorneys have conducted an unprecedented smear campaign against the victim of a violent sexual attack. That smear campaign included leaks from the defense team calling Ms. Diallo - without any basis - a prostitute, among other things," he said.
"Because of those contemptible, baseless and anonymous attacks, Ms. Diallo was forced to come forward in order to put a face to the brutal crime perpetrated by Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The defense attorneys should be ashamed and embarrassed by their behavior."
Additional reporting by Shayna Jacobs