New York -
Disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face a hearing December 10 in New York to settle with the hotel maid whose sex assault allegation triggered his downfall, a judge said on Monday.
“If the case is settled, this will be announced in open court on that day,” Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon told AFP.
The hearing is set for 2pm. McKeon said he expects the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, to be present, and for Strauss-Kahn to skip the proceedings.
If Strauss-Kahn, 63, and Diallo, 33, agree on the still undisclosed terms of the settlement, the one-time favourite for the French presidency would put to an end his sordid 18-month legal battle in the United States.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have refused to give details of any pay-off, reported to reach somme $6 million if Diallo drops her civil suit.
Until now, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers repeatedly said they would not agree to a deal and called Diallo a gold digger. Her legal team insisted equally strongly that 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 close to announcing he would run in an upcoming French presidential election.
Criminal charges were quickly brought, and then thrown out when Manhattan prosecutors said Diallo's testimony wouldn't stand up in court.
Meanwhile, Diallo filed her own civil lawsuit in a Bronx court, alleging that the 63-year-old leapt on her, naked, and forced her into oral sex.
Strauss-Kahn - who says a hurried, but consensual, sex act took place in his luxury room - returned immediately to France after the criminal case disintegrated.
However, by then Strauss-Kahn's career was in tatters, his marriage was on the rocks and he soon faced a string of other sex-related investigations by French authorities.
In France, Strauss-Kahn will learn December 19 if he is to face further investigation into pimping charges arising from allegations that he and associates arranged sex parties with prostitutes in the northern French city of Lille.
His lawyers have filed a request for the charges to be dismissed.
French prosecutors last month dropped an investigation into Strauss-Kahn's alleged participation in a gang rape after the woman involved said she had consented and was not pressing charges.
Strauss-Kahn has also been accused by 32-year-old author Tristane Banon of trying to rape her in 2002. - Sapa-AFP