June 19, 2013
Strauss-Kahn in preliminary deal to settle case with maid
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has reached a preliminary agreement to settle a civil lawsuit brought against him by a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault last year, sources familiar with the case said.
US and France-based lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, who was once tipped to become French president, today acknowledged a deal was under discussion, but said it had not yet been finalised.
They also denied as "flatly false" and "fanciful" a report that he agreed on a $6 million settlement.
"The parties have discussed a resolution but there has been no settlement. Mr. Strauss-Kahn will continue to defend the charges if no resolution can be reached," Strauss-Kahn's US lawyers, William Taylor and Amit Mehta, said in a statement.
"Media reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay six million dollars to settle the civil case are flatly false."
French daily Le Monde, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, said he and the maid Nafissatou Diallo would meet a judge in New York on Dec. 7 to sign a $6 million settlement and close an affair that ended the Frenchman's International Monetary Fund career and wrecked his presidential ambitions.
"The discussions have been going on for weeks, months. The agreement should be confirmed at the start of next week," Michele Saban, a friend of Strauss-Kahn who saw him recently, told Reuters in Paris. She could not confirm the sum involved.
"We are moving towards the end of a tragedy," she said, adding that Diallo had always been open to negotiating a settlement despite reticence from her lawyers.
Le Monde said 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn planned to take out a bank loan for $3 million and would be lent the other $3 million by his wife Anne Sinclair, despite the fact the couple separated in the summer and now live on different sides of Paris.
Strauss-Kahn's Paris-based legal team declined to comment on whether a deal had been reached with Diallo, but denied Le Monde's report of the sum involved.
"Neither Dominique Strauss-Kahn nor his lawyers will comment on proceedings in the United States. That said, however, they strenuously deny the erroneous and fanciful information relayed by Le Monde," said a statement from the Paris lawyers.
The New York Times, which first reported the development, also said the pair would appear before a judge in New York next week. It said the settlement sum could not be determined.