'Maid in Strauss-Kahn case was working as prostitute'

By REUTERS
July 2, 2011 17:30

Housekeeper accusing former IMF chief of rape received "extraordinary tips" from male clients, source tells 'New York Post.'

2 minute read.



Strauss Kahn

Strauss Kahn 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The hotel maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape was in fact a prostitute soliciting sex from male guests, The New York Post reported on Saturday.

"There is information . . . of her getting extraordinary tips, if you know what I mean. And it's not for bringing extra f--king towels," a source close to the defense investigation told the newspaper.

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On Friday, Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest after prosecutors said the hotel maid lied to a grand jury and made other false statements.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, still faces charges that he sexually assaulted the woman in New York but questions about her credibility appear to be shifting the case in his favor in a twist that could upend French politics.

He smiled as he left the courtroom with his wife, Anne Sinclair, at his side.

Until his May 14 arrest, Strauss-Kahn had been a steward of the global economy and a leading contender in the 2012 French presidential elections. Jubilant supporters in the French Socialist party hoped he might rejoin the presidential race but some analysts saw him as too tarnished.

Amid the scandal, he was forced to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund on May 19. Christine Lagarde, who just stepped down as French finance minister, takes over the top IMF job on Tuesday.

Enjoying his first taste of freedom since being pulled off a Paris-bound jetliner hours after the purported attack, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the townhouse where he had been under house arrest on Friday evening and was driven with his wife and another couple to Scalinatella, a pricey Italian restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers want the charges dropped.

"We are absolutely convinced that while today is a first giant step in the right direction, the next step will lead to a complete dismissal of the charges," his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said.

The judge said prosecutors will reexamine the evidence after they revealed the housekeeper lied to a grand jury about her actions after the alleged attack and on tax and immigration documents.

The woman initially said that after Strauss-Kahn assaulted her, she had cowered in the hallway outside his room until he left and she felt safe to seek help. Now, prosecutors say, she admits she cleaned a nearby room and then returned to start cleaning Strauss-Kahn's suite before reporting the incident.

Later Friday, investigators said that card-key data showed she had cleaned Strauss-Kahn's suite before cleaning another room, the New York Times reported.

As Justice Michael Obus released Strauss-Kahn, he told the court: "I understand that the circumstances of this case have changed substantially and I agree the risk that he would not be here has receded quite a bit.

"There will be no rush to judgment. The people will continue to investigate and reexamine the matter as appropriate."

Strauss-Kahn, whose house arrest had included electronic monitoring and an armed guard, agreed to return to court as needed, including for a July 18 hearing.

His bail payment of $1 million and bond of $5 million were returned to him but his passport was not.


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