Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back home in France today for the first time since a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault in May.
Strauss-Kahn, who before the accusation was considered one of the frontrunners to become the next president of France, was greeted by a swarm of reporters upon his return to Paris.
Last month, a judge in New York threw out the sexual assault case brought against him.
The ruling came after the judge rejected a plea by Strauss-Kahn's accuser, hotel maid Naifissatou Diallo, to have the Manhattan district attorney's office replaced by a special prosecutor.
New York Criminal Court Judge Michael Obus granted a motion from prosecutors to dismiss all charges against the international power broker known simply as DSK, ending a highly publicized prosecution without answering the question of what really happened between Strauss-Kahn and the maid assigned to clean his hotel suite.
"I see no basis to deny that application" to dismiss the charges, Obus said. An appellate court upheld the decision.
"These past two and a half months have been a nightmare for me and my family," Strauss-Kahn said outside his Manhattan apartment after the ruling. "I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me."
What was once viewed as a "strong" case based on an "unwavering" accuser fell apart amid "substantial" questions about the maid's credibility.
Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and Artie McConnell said the accuser "provided shifting and inconsistent versions of the events" and therefore they can't be sure "of what actually happened"
"We were no longer able to credit her version beyond a reasonable doubt" Illuzzi-Orbon said in court.
"We respectfully request that the court dismiss the indictment," she said.
During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath.
Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.
"Joan Illuzzi basically told Ms. Diallo that they were dismissing the case, claiming because she lied to them," Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson said. "They totally disrespected Ms. Diallo by walking out on her while she was trying to ask them a question."
Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.
"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement. "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible. Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the district attorney's office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further."
Thompson accused Vance's office of treating his client "abusively." He said the office failed to refute a New York Post article that called Diallo a hooker.
Thompson also claimed the DA's office was predisposed to dismissing a case it once called "strong."
Strauss-Kahn was a favorite to win next year's presidential elections in France before his arrest. Now polls show four out of five people don't won't him to run.
He faces an investigation into allegations of attempted rape in France.
ABC News Radio's Linda Albin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.