(Audio available further in this article)
New York : A hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault sued him Monday over what she calls a "violent and sadistic" attack.
Lawyers for the maid, Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo, wrote in the lawsuit that Strauss-Kahn "intentionally, brutally and violently sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo and in the process humiliated, degraded, violated and robbed Ms. Diallo of her dignity as a woman."
(To listen to this article, click on the player below)
Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn said the lawsuit has no merit.
"We have maintained from the beginning that the motivation of Mr. Thompson and his client was to make money," attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said, referring to Diallo's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson. "The filing of this lawsuit ends any doubt on that question."
An Annapolis, Md., defense lawyer who specializes in sexual abuse cases, Tom Pavlinic, said Diallo put her credibility at risk by bringing the civil lawsuit.
"She has done him a favor," Pavlinic said. "Prosecutors, in my experience, don't like when complainants in criminal cases initiate litigation in a civil case."
The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment on the filing of the lawsuit.
Strauss-Kahn, widely seen as a potentially successful French presidential candidate before his arrest, was pulled off a plane and detained hours after Diallo reported that she was attacked May 14 at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted rape and other crimes. He and his lawyers have called a series of interviews Diallo conducted in recent weeks "an unseemly circus" designed to inflame public opinion.
Strauss-Kahn, 65, resigned his IMF post after his arrest. He was freed from house arrest last month after prosecutors said publicly that they had discovered facts that cast doubt on his 32-year-old accuser's credibility.
Prosecutors have said Diallo lied about her background - including telling them an emotional story of being gang-raped in her homeland. She says now she was raped but not in the manner she described as part of an application for U.S. asylum.
Strauss-Kahn, who isn't permitted to leave the United States, is due back in criminal court Aug. 23.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle