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Gender-violence claim added to NYC lawsuit vs. DSK

Source : AP
Last Updated: Wed, May 23, 2012 02:45 hrs

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's infamous encounter with a hotel housekeeper reflected a pattern of misogynistic behavior by the former International Monetary Fund leader, she said in court papers adding a new claim Tuesday to her sexual-assault lawsuit against him.

Tapping a New York City law against gender-based violence and pointing to other allegations that have circled Strauss-Kahn, the woman's lawyers wrote that the onetime French presidential contender attacked her "because she is a woman and, at least in part, because he has an animus towards women."

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers had no immediate comment.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 after maid Nafissatou Diallo said he tried to rape her and forced her to perform oral sex in his Manhattan hotel suite. The married Strauss-Kahn, 63, has said what happened was consensual but represented a "moral failing."

Manhattan prosecutors later dropped the criminal charges, saying they had developed concerns about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo, 33, insists she told the truth about the encounter and is now pressing her claims in civil court. So is Strauss-Kahn, who filed a $1 million defamation claim against her last week, saying she had sullied his reputation with a "malicious and wanton false accusation."

"He is not required to simply endure what she did and her effort to profit for herself without fighting back," Strauss-Kahn lawyer William W. Taylor III said in a statement last week. Diallo's suit seeks unspecified damages.

The arrest spurred Strauss-Kahn's resignation from the IMF and marked the start of a series of allegations about his sexual conduct, accusations that shattered his political career.

Soon after the arrest, French writer Tristane Banon accused Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her during an interview in 2003, a claim he called imaginary and slanderous. Prosecutors said they believed the encounter qualified as a sexual assault, but the legal timeframe to pursue her complaint had elapsed.

Then French authorities lodged preliminary charges of alleged aggravated pimping, claiming Strauss-Kahn was involved in a hotel prostitution ring including prominent figures and police in the northern city of Lille. And on Monday, Lille prosecutors said they were looking into an allegation that Strauss-Kahn might have been involved in a rape during a sex party in a Washington hotel in 2010.

In response to the French investigation, he has acknowledged being involved in "libertine" activity but said he was unaware of anyone being paid for sex. His lawyers have said he "never committed violent acts nor had any relation whatsoever without the consent of his partners."

Diallo's lawyers allude in Tuesday's filing to all those allegations, as well as to an affair Strauss-Kahn had with an IMF subordinate. The agency's board concluded in 2008 that the relationship was consensual but that he'd shown poor judgment.

"Strauss-Kahn's conduct towards women generally is, and more specifically his sexual assault of Ms. Diallo was, motivated by a gender-animus and a misogynistic attitude," wrote her attorneys, Kenneth P. Thompson and Douglas Wigdor.

The Associated Press generally doesn't name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo and Banon have done.

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Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz




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