The attorney for Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, said a taped conversation between his client and a friend had been misinterpreted.
"The quote attributed to Nafi, 'He has a lot of money. And I know what to do' is not on the tape according to a Fulani interpreter retained by the District Attorney's Office," Ken Thompson said today.
That conversation is, in part, what led Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to have "concerns" about Diallo's credibility. Prosecutors from his office spent almost eight hours with Diallo Wednesday as they consider whether to go forward with the case.
Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for Vance, declined to comment on the substance of the conversation, saying "This is a pending criminal case. We will have no comment on evidence, or on any meetings between prosecutors and witnesses, civil attorneys, or defense counsel."
Strauss-Kahn has denied all criminal wrongdoing and his attorneys have said all charges must be dismissed. The DA has not released tapes or transcripts of the conversation.
Diallo took another step into the public spotlight Thursday, thanking supporters at a Brooklyn church.
"I'm here today to tell everybody how much I've been going through these past few months. I've been going through a lot," said Diallo.
She said she decided to come forward "because I've had people call me a lot of bad names." New York Post headlines have called her a "hooker," which she has denied.
"I'm here. I've heard a lot of bad things people are calling me," Diallo told the crowd at the Christian Cultural Center. "That's why I have to be here to let people know a lot of things people say about me is not true."
Diallo broke her public silence this week, first in interviews with ABC News and Newsweek, and now the appearance at the church, as prosecutors consider whether to drop the case.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has "concerns" about Dialo's credibility and is weighing whether to go forward with the case against Strauss-Kahn. He has denied all criminal wrongdoing.
Diallo said she is coming forward to keep a promise she made to her daughter.
"I promised her I'm going to be strong for you and for every other woman in the world."
Diallo has said she "wants justice" and wants Strauss-Kahn to go to jail.
The phone call that raised questions inside the district attorney's office was between Diallo and an inmate at an Arizona immigration jail, someone Diallo describes as a "friend."
When prosecutors first heard the recordings they believed Diallo alluded to Strauss-Kahn's money. Thompson said after listening to the recordings on Wednesday he heard something different.
"Nafi Diallo was sexually assaulted and almost raped by one of the most powerful men on earth and that she told her friend, the person in jail, what he did to her the very first time they spoke. That is critical, because many of you are under the impression that the first time they spoke they were talking about how to get his money," Thompson said.
The phone call is not the only reason prosecutors have said they have to reassess the strength of their case. Diallo lied on her application for asylum and investigators believe she told them two different stories about what happened in the aftermath of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.
In her interview with ABC News Diallo conceded she made "mistakes" but said they should not preclude the district attorney's office from bringing Strauss-Kahn to trial.