Strauss-Kahn strikes deal with hotel maid to end sex case

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid who had accused him of sexual assault have settled the lawsuit she had filed against him for an undisclosed sum, ending the disgraced French politician's legal woes in the US.

Justice Douglas McKeon of the New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx here announced at a 10-minute hearing yesterday that terms of the settlement reached between Strauss-Kahn and Nafissatou Diallo will remain confidential.

63-year-old Strauss-Kahn was held in New York in May 2011 after Diallo, 33, said he assaulted her in his Manhattan hotel suite when she had gone to clean the room. He was was forced to resign from his post at the International Monetary Fund following the scandal.

The incident was widely seen as having ruined Strauss- Kahn's chance of becoming the Socialist presidential candidate in his native France.

Strauss-Kahn was not present at the hearing. His lawyers said in a statement after the hearing that they were "pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter".

"We are grateful to Judge McKeon, whose patience and forbearance allowed this agreement to be formulated," Strauss-Kahn's attorneys, William Taylor and Amit Mehta said in the statement.

Diallo, hailing from Guinea, was present at the hearing. She thanked "everyone" outside the court.

"Diallo is a strong and courageous person who never lost faith in our system of justice. And with today's resolution, Diallo can move on with the rest of her life," her attorney Kenneth Thompson said.

McKeon said a separate lawsuit filed by Diallo against the New York Post over the tabloid's report that she was a prostitute had been settled as well.

Diallo had filed the civil lawsuit after federal prosecutors last year in May arrested and criminally charged Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.

Diallo's civil lawsuit in the Bronx court sought unspecified monetary damages for physical and psychological harm and damage to her reputation and career.

Strauss-Kahn had also filed a million dollar countersuit against Diallo for defamation.

He had later said the sexual encounter was consensual but admitted it was a "moral error".

Late last month, media reports had said that Strauss-Kahn might pay USD six million to settle the lawsuit, but his lawyers had denied the reports as "false and erroneous".

While the agreement ends Strauss-Kahn's legal woes in the US, he still faces a legal battle in France, where he was charged last year with participating in an organised prostitution ring.

Strauss-Kahn and his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, separated this summer. PTI YAS WAJ AKJ 12111719

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