Strauss-Kahn in preliminary deal with maid in civil case: source

NEW YORK Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:07am IST

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves after casting his vote at a polling station in the second round of the 2012 French presidential elections in Sarcelles May 6, 2012. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves after casting his vote at a polling station in the second round of the 2012 French presidential elections in Sarcelles May 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the hotel maid who accused him of sexually assaulting her last year have reached a preliminary agreement to settle the civil lawsuit she brought against him, a person familiar with the case said.

The person, however, cautioned that the agreement could still fall apart.

The development was first reported by the New York Times, which cited people with knowledge of the case.

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, will appear before a judge in New York next week, the Times reported. The newspaper said the amount of money involved in the agreement could not be determined.

The lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday evening.

The scandal that erupted after Diallo's allegations scuttled Strauss-Kahn's plans to run for president of his native France and forced him to resign from the IMF days after he was arrested and charged with attempted rape, among other crimes.

But the criminal prosecution fell apart after doubts emerged concerning Diallo's credibility as a witness. The Manhattan district attorney's office formally moved to dismiss the indictment in August 2011, and a judge dropped the charges.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Bronx Supreme Court in New York just weeks before the criminal charges were dropped, accused Strauss-Kahn of a "brutal" assault and sought unspecified damages. But Strauss-Kahn has maintained that the sexual encounter was consensual.

Strauss-Kahn filed his own countersuit against the maid earlier this year, claiming Diallo's accusations destroyed his career and harmed his reputation.

Diallo alleged Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex on May 14, 2011, in his luxury suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan.

Strauss-Kahn's legal troubles have persisted since his return to France, where authorities have investigated his possible involvement in a prostitution ring that included sex parties he attended in France and in Washington, D.C.

In recent months, he has attempted a political comeback on the international speaking circuit.

Strauss-Kahn and his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, have separated. (Reporting by Noeleen Walder; Writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by Dan Burns and Eric Walsh)

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