By Shayna Jacobs and Andrea Swalec
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT- Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped down as chief of the International Monetary Fund Wednesday night, a day before his lawyers are set to urge a Manhattan judge to free him.
"It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF," Strauss-Kahn said in a statement Wednesday.
"I think at this time first of my wife—whom I love more than anything—of my children, of my family, of my friends
"I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me," he said.
Strauss-Kahn was hit with charges of attempted rape after allegedly attacking a maid as she cleaned his room in West 44th Street's Sofitel hotel Saturday.
Lawyers for the 63-year-old, who was a leading candidate for the French presidency, were set Thursday to ask a judge for his release on $1 million bail, the same bail amount that had been denied at his arraignment Monday. They are expected to offer that he stay under house arrest in Manhattan with 24-hour electronic monitoring.
"Mr. Strauss-Kahn is a loving husband and father, and a highly regarded international diplomat, lawyer, politician, economist and professor, with no prior criminal record," the bail application states.
It is not clear if Strauss-Kahn, who has been held on suicide watch at Rikers Island jail, will appear on Thursday.
Manhattan Criminal Court Chief Judge Melissa Jackson said at his arraignment Monday that Strauss-Kahn was a flight risk.
But his legal team contends that he has strong ties to New York and has turned in his travel documents.
While the finance big awaits his fate, the life of his accuser has been upended, her lawyer told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
"She's very afraid. She's overwhelmed. She's not had an opportunity to sleep," attorney Jeffrey Shapiro said. "She's been a victim of a sexual assault and she hasn't had time to process that yet."
Shapiro said his client is a 32-year-old widow with a 15-year-old daughter who was granted asylum in the United States seven years ago after emigrating from Guinea.
Several French media outlets have released the accuser's name, and some have characterized her claim as part of a campaign to discredit Strauss-Kahn before France's April 2012 presidential elections, for which he was a likely Socialist candidate.
In support of the woman's case, investigators removed a section of carpet and swabbed a sink in Sofitel suite where the alleged attack occurred, a law-enforcement official told the Journal.
Strauss-Kahn is expected to appear before a Manhattan Criminal Court judge Friday, where he will likely find out whether a grand jury has voted to indict him.