The hotel housekeeper who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault made her first public appearance Thursday to thank her New York supporters.
Nafissatou Diallo, joined by community and religious leaders including pastor Albert North, made her remarks in Brooklyn a day after the accuser and her attorney met with prosecutors for nearly eight hours.
Diallo’s lawyer Kenneth Thompson told reporters they wanted to hold the press conference to dispute claims his client was a prostitute and knew Strauss-Kahn had money when she decided to press charges.
"She doesn’t have to wait to tell the truth at trial, she felt compelled to tell the truth today," Thompson said.
Thompson said the meeting with the District Attorney went well and insisted the evidence of the case remains strong.
"She has not wavered in one regard, regarding what happened to her in that room. So, when you ask about credibility, keep in mind the physical evidence."
Thompson said Diallo had been misquoted when it was reported that she told a friend in jail during a taped phone conversation that she intended to make money off of Strauss-Kahn. The conversation was mistranslated from the Fulani dialect, he said.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has not yet announced whether he will drop the case against the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
Prosecutors expressed concerns earlier this month about Diallo’s credibility after discovering she lied on her asylum application, her income tax returns and during interviews with investigators.
Strauss-Kahn has denied Diallo's accusations. His next court date is August 23.
Diallo broke her silence this week and came forward publicly.
Speaking to Newsweek and ABC News, Diallo detailed what she said happened in the luxe suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan in May. She said Strauss-Kahn grabbed and attacked her, and forced her to engage in a sexual act.
"I want him to go to jail," she told Newsweek. "I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."
Diallo testified to a grand jury that she cowered in a hallway after the alleged attack and watched Strauss-Kahn leave, then told a supervisor. Prosecutors said she changed her account - a charge she denies.
With Stephen Nessen