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Strauss-Kahn Countersues Hotel Housekeeper for $1M

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is striking back against the New York City hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault with a $1 million countersuit.

The disgraced French politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund said in court papers filed Monday that Nafissatou Diallo made a "malicious and wanton false accusation" when she said he assaulted her one year ago.

"As a direct result of her malicious and wanton false accusation, Mr. Strauss-Kahn suffered ... substantial harm to his professional and personal reputation in the United States and throughout the world," says his Bronx court filing, written by attorneys William W. Taylor III, Hugh Campbell and others.

It was submitted two weeks after the same court rejected his argument that diplomatic immunity should shield him from Diallo's suit, a ruling he may yet appeal.

Diallo's lawyers said Strauss-Kahn's defamation claim an example of the "misogynistic attitude" of a man who now faces preliminary charges of being involved in a hotel prostitution ring in France. As of last week, French investigators also studying accusations that Strauss-Kahn may have been involved in a rape during a sex party in a Washington hotel in 2010. Separately, a French writer accused him last year of having tried to rape her during a 2003 interview, an accusation prosecutors said was too old to try. He denies all the allegations.

"As with his plea for diplomatic immunity, we are entirely confident this latest desperate ploy will be swiftly rejected," Diallo attorneys Kenneth W. Thompson and Douglas H. Wigdor wrote in an email.

One of Strauss-Kahn's attorneys said the countersuit should come as no surprise to Diallo.

"She is directly responsible for his being arrested, imprisoned, and subjected to extraordinary pain, anguish and expense," William W. Taylor III said in a statement. "Her conduct is not without consequence for her and he is not required to simply endure what she did and her effort to profit for herself without fighting back."

The criminal case against Strauss-Kahn was dismissed after prosecutors lost faith in Diallo's credibility. She then filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of assault.

A judge this month rebuffed Strauss-Kahn's claim that he had diplomatic immunity.

Diallo says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her when she arrived to clean his Manhattan hotel suite. Strauss-Kahn has denied doing anything violent.

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