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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former IMF chief, has discussed a settlement with a Manhattan maid accusing him of sexual assault, but has not reached a deal, his lawyers said on Friday.
“The parties have discussed a resolution but there has been no settlement. Mr Strauss-Kahn will continue to defend the charges if no resolution can be reached,” attorneys William Taylor and Amit Mehta said in a brief statement, following growing speculation over an out-of-court deal.
The attorneys repeated an earlier denial of a report in French daily Le Monde specifying that Strauss-Kahn was ready to pay hotel cleaning lady Nafissatou Diallo $6 million.
“Media reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay six million dollars to settle the civil case are flatly false,” Taylor and Mehta said.
According to Le Monde, Strauss-Kahn was to raise the money by borrowing $3 million from a bank and the rest from his estranged wife, Anne Sinclair, a former newsreader who inherited a fortune from her art dealer father.
Diallo's legal team did not comment, but an earlier statement from Strauss-Kahn's legal team had already called the Le Monde report “imaginary and mistaken.”
The latest statement did confirm that Strauss-Kahn has entered into talks with Diallo to end the sordid 18-month legal saga, a development first reported late Thursday by The New York Times, quoting unidentified sources.
Until now, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers repeatedly said they would not agree to a pay-off deal, while Diallo's legal team insisted she wanted her day in court to confront her alleged abuser.
Diallo's allegation of attempted rape in May 2011 triggered a stunning fall from grace for Strauss-Kahn, who had been seen as likely to win an upcoming French presidential election.
Criminal charges were thrown out when Manhattan prosecutors said Diallo's testimony wouldn't stand up in court. She then filed her own civil lawsuit in a Bronx court. - Sapa-AFP