Strauss-Kahn accuser speaks out

In this undated photo provided by ABC News,

In this undated photo provided by ABC News, Robin Roberts, right, talks to Nafissatou Diallo, the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn assault case. Diallo told the network she never wanted to be in the public eye but had no choice, amid questions about her credibility. Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn told ABC that the interview was "an unseemly circus" designed to inflame public opinion. (Credit: AP)

The maid who charged that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, at the time a potential French presidential contender and director of the International Monetary Fund, sexually assaulted her at a Manhattan hotel, has spoken out for the first time in an interview with Newsweek magazine.

Nafissatou Diallo, 32, spoke with ABC News and Newsweek magazine, where she describes the May 14 encounter in detail and denies she made up the attack. The Manhattan district attorney has said doubts about her credibility had arisen, but its investigation is continuing.

"I want him to go to jail," Diallo told Newsweek. "I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."

Christopher Dickey and John Solomon write in an article for this week's magazine that Diallo, who came to America from Guinea in 2003, wept when she spoke and at times her "tears seemed forced." She gave "vague responses" about her past in West Africa, they write, but her account of the alleged assault was "vivid and compelling."

Diallo said she was checking to see whether a room was empty so that it could be cleaned when a naked Strauss-Kahn came at her "like a crazy man," grabbing her breast and slamming closed the door of the suite. He then forced her to the bedroom, according to Diallo's account.

She tried to push him away, she said, and Strauss-Kahn groped her and tore her pantyhose before pushing her to her knees and forcing her to perform a sexual act while gripping her head. When it was over, Diallo ran from the room and hid in a hallway, she said.

Moments later, she said she saw Strauss-Kahn leave the room and walk to the elevator.

The article notes that Strauss-Kahn has not given an account of events and has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and related offenses.

Strauss-Kahn has a reputation of being sexually voracious, the story notes, and faces charges in France stemming from an alleged rape in 2003. Other women also claim he assaulted them.

The story refers to a taped conversation in which Diallo reportedly tells an associate, "Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I'm doing," but suggests her actual words, spoken in a dialect of her native language, may have been "somewhat different."

Diallo may have consorted with "petty con artists and dubious types," the story states, "But that does not preclude her having been the victim of a predatory and powerful man. Nor does it mean she will rule out an attempt to make some money from the situation."

Strauss-Kahn's attorneys Sunday night issued a statement calling Diallo's interviews an attempt to "persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money."

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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