"Strauss-Kahn Maid" Tells Her Side of the Story
Nafissatou Diallo, up until now only known as the "DSK accuser," has broken her silence in a very sad, very balanced cover story exclusive at Newsweek. In an interview given in the company of her lawyers, presumably to counter the "hooker" smears perpetuated by the New York Post, Diallo describes her version of what happened that fateful day, when then-IMF honcho Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly sexually assaulted her when she entered his hotel room to clean it. And while certain parts of the interview are vague—those facts surrounding her immigration status and past in Guinea in particular—her story about what happened in the Sofitel is vivid and unwavering:
Diallo kept pushing him away: “I don’t want to hurt him,” she told us. “I don’t want to lose my job.” He shoved back, moving her down the hallway from the bedroom toward the bathroom. Diallo’s uniform dress buttoned down the front, but Strauss-Kahn didn’t bother with the buttons, she said. He pulled it up around her thighs and tore down her pantyhose, gripping her crotch so hard that it was still red at the hospital, hours later. He pushed her to her knees, her back to the wall. He forced his penis into her mouth, she said, and he gripped her head on both sides. “He held my head so hard here,” she said, putting her hands to her cranium. “He was moving and making a noise. He was going like ‘uhh, uhh, uhh.’ He said, ‘Suck my’—I don’t want to say.” The report from the hospital where Diallo was taken later for examination notes that “she felt something wet and sour come into her mouth and she spit it out on the carpet.”
“I got up,” Diallo told NEWSWEEK. “I was spitting. I run. I run out of there. I don’t turn back. I run to the hallway. I was so nervous; I was so scared. I didn’t want to lose my job.”
She mentions several times that she was worried about being fired, and her harrowing story underscores the class disparities in this case: she, a single mother living in the Bronx who made money braiding hair before she landed the job keeping house; he, the internationally powerful financial leader on the fast track to the French presidency.
Currently, prosecutors are deciding whether to move forward on the case.
This morning, Diallo's appearance on Good Morning America was described by the New York Times as appearing "to be part of a strategy intended to put pressure on the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., to prosecute the case." (Indeed, the Newsweek piece makes the prosecution sound more like the defense—though they must, of course, cover their bases, the amount of preemptive investigation into the victim vs. the accused feels disproportionate.) And while the defense characterizes the interviews as an attempt to get money from DSK, Diallo told Good Morning America that, simply, " I want him to go to jail.”