By Charlotte Young
The woman who claims Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped her is no “money-grubbing opportunist”, her lawyer states. A recorded conversation between the woman, Nafissatou Diallo, and her incarcerated friend reveals that the hotel maid was more concerned about what happened to her than Strauss-Kahn’s wealth.
At the request of Diallo’s attorney, Kenneth Thompson, the tapes of the conversation were reviewed in a meeting with prosecutors on Wednesday. The meeting lasted almost eight hours.
On the tapes, Diallo speaks in Fulani, a West African language, to her friend detained in an Arizona immigration detention center. In the first conversation, Diallo details that someone had forced her to do something she didn’t want to do and had tried to rape her and that this person was a powerful man.
According to the Salon, this directly contrasts with the New York Times report that a law enforcement official had anonymously disclosed that Diallo had told her friend that “this guy has a lot of money,” and that she knew what she was doing, shortly before Strauss-Kahn was arrested.
Mentions of Straus-Kahn’s status and her plans to get a lawyer took place in two separate conversations.
Diallo’s credibility has been brought under question as she admittedly exaggerated her background in Guinea with tales of gang-rang in efforts to secure asylum in the US. Prosecutors also doubt her account of her actions on what she did directly after the alleged assault took place on May 14.
While traces of his semen were found on her work uniform, Diallo’s shaky accounts have hurt the possibility of a prosecution.
Diallo recently made appearances on Newsweek and ABC News, asking for prosecutors to keep the case alive. Prosecutors decided on Tuesday to postpone Strauss-Kahn’s court date from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23. At that time, they will then make the decision whether or not to continue with the case.
Before the incident, the former International Monetary Fund leader had been a solid French presidential contender. He was arrested after Diallo released statements that he had “forced her to perform oral sex, manhandled her and ripped down her stockings” in his Sofitel Hotel luxury suite close to Times Square in Manhattan.
While Diallo may not have focused on Strauss-Kahn’s money, Thompson said that it was within her rights to sue him. For the moment, the Salon reports Diallo plans to visit religious, women’s and African community groups at a Brooklyn Christian center to thank her supporters.