In a civil lawsuit filed today in the Bronx, Nafissatou Diallo accuses former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of a "violent and sadistic attack" that robbed her of "her dignity as a woman."
Even as Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance decides whether to go forward with a criminal case, Diallo, in a civil suit, says Strauss-Kahn caused her "severe mental anguish and emotional distress from which she may never fully recover."
She asks for a damages award of an unspecified amount.
The suit comes two weeks before Strauss-Kahn's next scheduled court date Aug. 23. Prosecutors have been weighing "concerns" about Diallo's credibility.
Strauss-Kahn's attorneys, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman issued a statement in response to the suit: "We have maintained from the beginning that the motivation of Mr. Thompson and his client was to make money. The filing of this lawsuit ends any doubt on that question. The civil suit has no merit and Mr.Strauss-Kahn will defend it vigorously."
The statement referred to Diallo's attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson.
'David and Goliath' Encounter
Her civil suit portrays a "David and Goliath" encounter between "a man who had aspirations to become the next president of France" and "an innocent hardworking immigrant woman from Africa whom he had never met."
The suit is detailed and graphic in its description of Diallo's version of the encounter and its aftermath.
It uses quotes from news accounts to demonstrate the "public humiliation, shame, scorn and disdain throughout the world" it says were brought to bear against her.
The play-by-play of the encounter is consistent with the version Diallo gave in her interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
"I want to let people know the truth," Diallo said in that interview. "I have to tell the truth."
The suit notes, without specifics, alleged prior acts: "With violence and depravity in his heart and having the confidence of sexually assaulting other women in the past who did not immediately come forward Defendant Strauss-Kahn forced Ms. Diallo all the way to the back of the suite and down on her knees outside of a bathroom at the end of the corridor."
Diallo's attorneys are prepared to call as witnesses other women "who were sexually attacked" by Strauss-Kahn in hotel rooms, in apartments, at his place of business or "who were going about their normal day."