Dominique Strauss-Kahn strode out of Manhattan State Supreme Court on Tuesday in triumph, smiling slightly with his wife beside him, and later saying he was ready to return to his native France after a “nightmare” ordeal.
“I’m relieved for my wife, my children, everyone who supported me during this time, sending me letters and emails. I want them to know their support is important,” Strauss-Kahn, 62, said after a judge dismissed the sexual assault charges against him as expected.
“I want to return to my country. But I still have some business to take care of here. I’ll comment further in France,” added Strauss-Kahn, who had to resign from his post as head of the IMF and was expected to run in France’s 2012 presidential race.
He also said in a statement that he’s looking forward to “resuming something of a more normal life,” following his arrest in May in a case that caught worldwide attention.
Earlier, Strauss-Kahn and his New York-born wife, Anne Sinclair, were heckled as they walked out of the Manhattan courthouse. Protesters rallied in support of Nafissatou Diallo, the 33-year-old maid who alleged Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in his suite at midtown’s Sofitel hotel on May 14 and forced her to perform oral sex.
Their signs read, “DSK, you dirty dog,” and “Shame on you!”
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance decided not to pursue the case because of doubts about Diallo’s credibility and worries his office couldn’t prove any sexual contact was forced. It was also discovered that Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, had lied about her past, including being gang-raped on her U.S. asylum paperwork.
Diallo’s attorney, Kenneth Thompson, scoffed at the judge’s ruling.
“If Dominique Strauss was a plumber from the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, do you really think the district attorney would be running away from DNA evidence?” he said, according to the Daily News.
Diallo’s attorney had filed a motion Monday accusing Vance’s office of bias and bungling, and asked Judge Michael Obus to name a special prosecutor to take over. An appeals court Tuesday denied the request.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said outside of court that Vance’s decision to drop such a high-profile case was “courageous.”