Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s day of reckoning did not come in a formal trial for his alleged crimes but in a civil suit brought against him by Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who claimed he raped her.
The Daily Beast writes that Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s settlement amount is $6 million, which the former money man seems unable to pay on his own. His wealthy wife, Anne Sinclair, editor of the French branch of the Huffington Post, will reportedly pay half of the settlement, while the remaining $3 million will be covered by a bank loan.
Although he and Sinclair are reportedly now separated, we all know she stood by her man throughout the scandal, even paying his attorney fees and bail, all the while smiling and playing the role of the loving, believing, trusting spouse.
In turn, Strauss-Kahn, who did admit to a sexual encounter with Diallo, said it wasn’t rape but consensual. In one interview with a French television, he called it a “moral failing.” (Read more on that here: here). Incidentally, he had his own lawsuit against his accuser but dropped it as part of the settlement.
Diallo, 33, an African immigrant, has never wavered in her accusations of rape against Strauss-Kahn, saying he sexually assaulted her at the Sofitel, a Manhattan hotel in New York City in May of 2011, though the Manhattan District Attorney’s office did drop the charges, citing insufficient evidence and lack of credible testimony by the accuser.
I found it extremely puzzling for an exclusive interview with Newsweek and again with local ABC Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Diallo had given graphic and disturbing details of the alleged assault, which included Strauss-Kahn forcing her to perform oral sex. (click video above or see it here: http://youtu.be/lxc8rmcNr9A).
But on second thought, I shouldn’t be puzzled, for this case had all the ingredients for “Lady Justice” to fail: Money, power, poverty, education, class, color and international intrigue. Diallo, an uneducated immigrant from Africa working as a chambermaid in a big city, dared to go up against a rich, powerful, well-educated, white man from France. A monumental, uphill battle from the start. Throw in the fact that rape is still a difficult thing to prove, sexism, classism, race, Diallo “keeping company” with a convict and lying on her visa application to get out of a dangerous part of Africa —then it is virtually impossible to get justice.
Mind you, compared to Diallo lying to survive and having a friend who urged her to sue in a country where lawsuits are commonplace, Strauss-Kahn’s background reads like a sleazy, X-rated novel. He wielded incredible power as IMF chief, but in his personal life, the depravity ran deep. Tales of orgies with hookers and other rich, powerful men surfaced. Affairs with subordinates at the IMF and other accusations of rape also came to light.
A French writer, Tristane Banon, had also accused the ex-money-man of sexually assaulting her in 2003 when she was only 21 while she was interviewing him for a book. Her mother had reportedly talked her out of pressing charges at the time, but soon after the Diallo case was dropped here in the US, Banon finally worked up the courage to file charges in France. Luckily for Strauss-Kahn, that case was dropped too. (Read it here: here).