By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of sexually assaulting her agreed on Monday to settle her civil lawsuit against him for an undisclosed sum, ending one chapter of a scandal that cost him his job and derailed his political career in France.
At a brief hearing in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, Justice Douglas McKeon said the terms of deal, which includes settlement of a countersuit filed by Strauss-Kahn, would remain confidential.
Strauss-Kahn, 63, was not required to appear in New York and remained in Paris. His accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, was present as the judge had ordered, wearing a green blouse with black pants and a gray and white scarf around her head.
"I thank everybody, and I thank God," Diallo said in a brief statement outside the courthouse after the hearing.
"Ms. Diallo is a strong and courageous woman who never lost faith in our system of justice. With this resolution, she can now move on with her life and we thank everyone for their support and prayers," her lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said.
Strauss-Kahn's New York lawyers, William Taylor and Amit Mehta, said in an emailed statement: "On behalf of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, we are pleased to have arrived at a resolution of this matter. We are grateful to Judge McKeon whose patience and forbearance allowed this agreement to be formulated."
MORE LEGAL HURDLES AHEAD IN FRANCE
The agreement ends Strauss-Kahn's U.S. legal woes, but he faces more court dates in France.
The U.S. scandal erupted in May 2011 when Diallo, 33, told police that Strauss-Kahn attacked her in his suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan. She alleged that a naked Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom of his $3,000-a-night suite and forced her to perform oral sex.
The accusation led to a frantic scramble by police in New York to arrest Strauss-Kahn as he sat aboard a jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport waiting to take off for France.
The scandal forced Strauss-Kahn to resign as head of one of the world's most influential international finance organizations and wrecked his hopes of running for president in his native France.
Prosecutors initially expressed confidence in the evidence, including DNA that showed a sexual encounter. But they dropped the case in August 2011 after developing concerns about Diallo's credibility, including what they said were inconsistencies in her account of what happened immediately following the incident.
Judge McKeon said a separate lawsuit filed by Diallo against the New York Post over the tabloid's report that she was a prostitute had been settled as well. Terms of that were also not released.
Accusers in such cases often hide from the glare of publicity, and many media outlets, including Reuters, protect their identities by not revealing their names. Continued...