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DSK agrees to settle lawsuit with NY maid

New York/Paris, Nov. 30 (Reuters): Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has reached a preliminary agreement with the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault last year to settle a civil lawsuit she brought against him, sources familiar with the case said.

While a source in New York cautioned that the agreement could still fall apart, influential French daily Le Monde reported, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, that the parties had agreed on a payment of $6 million to settle the case — an element dimissed by Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers as “fanciful”.

Le Monde said 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn and the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, would meet a judge in New York on December 7 to sign the deal and close an affair that ended the Frenchman’s IMF career and wrecked his presidential ambitions. “The discussions have been going on for weeks, months. The agreement should be confirmed at the start of next week,” Michele Saban, a friend of Strauss-Kahn who saw him recently, told Reuters in Paris.

She could not confirm the sum involved.

“We are moving towards the end of a tragedy,” she said, adding that Diallo had always been open to negotiating a settlement despite reticence from her lawyers.

Le Monde reported that Strauss-Kahn planned to take out a bank loan for $3 million and would be lent the other $3 million by his wife Anne Sinclair, despite the fact the couple separated in the summer and now live on different sides of Paris.

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and Diallo based in Paris would not confirm whether a deal had been agreed and lawyers in New York did not immediately respond to requests made last evening.

“Neither Dominique Strauss-Kahn nor his lawyers will comment on proceedings in the United States. That said, however, they strenuously deny the erroneous and fanciful information relayed by Le Monde,” said a statement from Strauss-Kahn’s Paris legal defence team. The New York Times, which first reported the development, also said the pair would appear before a judge in New York next week.

 
 
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