US & Canada

Dominique Strauss-Kahn accuser files civil lawsuit

Nafissatou Diallo
Image caption Ms Diallo revealed her identity and made media appearances last month to try and clear her name

The hotel maid who has accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her has filed a civil lawsuit against him.

In the suit, which was filed in New York and seeks unspecified damages, Nafissatou Diallo alleges she was left humiliated, violated and degraded.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges and has been freed on bail.

His lawyers said the suit had no merit and vowed to contest it.

In a court filing, lawyers for Ms Diallo said Mr Strauss-Kahn "intentionally, brutally and violently sexually assaulted Ms Diallo and in the process humiliated, degraded, violated and robbed Ms Diallo of her dignity as a woman."

The filing says Mr Strauss-Kahn bruised her vagina, injured her shoulder, tore her underwear and violently grabbed the back of her head in the alleged 14 May attack.

Before the allegation Mr Strauss-Kahn, 65 and married, was seen as a leading candidate for the French presidency in the country's 2012 election.

He is due back in court 23 August.

Prosecutors have said DNA evidence ties Mr Strauss-Kahn to the attack in a room at the Sofitel Hotel in New York.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say any sexual encounter would have been consensual and have said Ms Diallo, originally from Guinea, had a financial motive to accuse Mr Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.

They have seized on evidence that Ms Diallo lied in immigration proceedings in an effort to win asylum in the US, and a recording in which they say she discussed with a jailed friend how to profit financially from the incident.

"We have maintained from the beginning that the motivation of [Ms Diallo's lawyer Kenneth Thompson] and his client was to make money," Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said in a statement.

"The filing of this lawsuit ends any doubt on that question. The civil suit has no merit and Mr Strauss-Kahn will defend it vigorously."

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