Nafissatou Diallo, the Maid Allegedly Raped By Strauss-Kahn, Speaks

The hotel maid who was allegedly raped by former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has given interviews to Newsweek and ABC News, in which she revealed the details of her past and the assault.

Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on August 1, and his lawyers have called for the case to be dismissed after the prosecution raised concerns about the woman's credibility. Photo: Bixint/Flickr

Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid, who accused former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of assault, has given a pair of interviews.

One of them is for this week’s edition of Newsweek and another with ABC’s Robin Roberts, set to air on Monday’s “Good Morning America” and then “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”

In her interview with Newsweek 32-year old Diallo, an employee of the Sofitel hotel, told that when she came to clean Strauss-Kahn’s room 2806 she called out “Hello? Housekeeping,” several times before entering. There was no reply.

When she finally decided to come in a naked man with white hair appeared, Diallo told Newsweek.

It was Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and, until that moment, the man tipped to be the next president of France.

Diallo cannot read or write in any language. She sais she has few “close friends” and some of the men she has spent time with, whom she does not call fiancés or boyfriends, but “just friends,” appear to have taken advantage of her.

She described the details of her work at the Sofitel and highlighted that she enjoyed her work. At the same time while answering the questions about her past in Africa she sounded rather vague.

She said that her husband had died of “an illness”. She also had a daughter who died at the age of 3 or 4 months old—she wasn’t sure.

Diallo was raped by two soldiers who arrested her for a curfew violation at night in Conakry, the Guinean capital. Though Diallo sounded very confident when telling the story about the incident with Strauss-Kahn.

She told Newsweek that when she saw a naked man in the room she apologized and wanted to leave, but he stopped her. Here is the quotation from the magazine:

“Oh, my God,” said Diallo. “I’m so sorry.” And she turned to leave. “You don’t have to be sorry,” he said. But he was like “a crazy man to me.” He clutched at her breasts. He slammed the door of the suite.

Diallo is about 5 feet 10, considerably taller than Strauss-Kahn, and she has a sturdy build. “You’re beautiful,” Strauss-Kahn told her, wrestling her toward the bedroom.

“I said, ‘Sir, stop this. I don’t want to lose my job,’” Diallo told Newsweek. “He said, ‘You’re not going to lose your job.’”

In a three-hour long interview, Diallo recounted to Newsweek what took place on the day of her alleged attack. You can read Newsweek's full story here. Photo: News Week

An ugly incident with a guest—any guest—could threaten everything Diallo had worked for. “I don’t look at him. I was so afraid. I didn’t expect anyone in the room.”

The entire incident didn’t take more than 15 minutes. Although, prosecutors, losing faith in Diallo’s credibility, later raised an issue about the sequence of events.

They said she told the grand jury that after the attack she hid in the hallway, but subsequently changed her story to say she cleaned room 2820 and then began to clean the DSK suite.

Nafissatou Diallo also gave an interview to ABC News. “I want justice. I want him to go to jail,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts. “I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this.”

“God is my witness I’m telling the truth. From my heart. God Knows that. And he knows that,” she said.

“I never want to be in public but I have no choice,” Diallo told ABC News, adding “Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn attorneys said that Diallo was trying to whip up public opinion with the help of her interviews.

“This conduct by lawyers is unprofessional and it violates fundamental rules of professional conduct for lawyers,” Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said in a statement.

“Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case.” [via Newsweek, ABC News and France 24]

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