The maid goes public

(Below, there is a link to Diallo’s TV interview.)

The maid of the New York Sofitel (or the “chambermaid,” as the New York Times always calls her, elevating her status), the accuser of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has gone public with print and broadcast interviews, revealing her name, Nafissatou Diallo, though it has been known unofficially for some time. Here’s a short item about it in the New York Post. Here’s a longer article in the New York Times. The Times does not simply endorse her version of the incident. It points to some of her contradictions and lies. However, in predictable Times fashion, softening and covering up the misdeeds of favored demographic groups, the article does not mention her most consquential lie, that she told prosecutors and the grand jury that she had immediately reported the incident after it happened, when in fact she cleaned two rooms, including the DSK room, before she spoke to anyone, giving her time to concoct a story. She should be tried for perjury. The Post reports:

“I want justice. I want him to go to jail,” the 32-year-old mom [By the way, what happened to the word “mother”? Gone with the wind.] said in an interview on Good Morning America today. “I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this.”

If Diallo were an honest person, she would say, I want him to go to jail for what he did to me. Her mention of his money and power reveals her as a professional victim going after the rich and powerful. Let us recall that his money and power are not the reason the case lies in ruins. Notwithstanding his money and power, he was arrested, perp-walked, indicted, and confined to house arrest. The reason he was later released, and the case thrown into question, had to do with the prosecutors’ discovery of the lies she had told them, not with his money and power. So, again, her claim that his money and power are what stand in the way of the justice she seeks is a strong indication of her bad faith and her professional victimology.

Also, in her photo on the front page of today’s New York Post (I don’t find it online) she has the classic look of a dishonest person, especially around the mouth.

Uh-oh, I feel a poetic paraphrase coming on. Tennyson (author of “Elaine the fair, Elaine the lovable, / Elaine the lilly maid of Astolat, High in her chamber up a tower to the east / Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot”), forgive me:

Diallo the fraud, Diallo the liar,
Diallo the illegal maid of Sofitel,
High in her chamber in that West Side hotel
Made up a lying tale to frame Strauss-Kahn.

Illegal, because she won asylum in this country through repulsive lies, and because her entire life in this country, culminating in her accusations against DSK, has been built on lies and associations with criminals, from whom she has received substantial income.

- end of initial entry -

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

If you haven’t seen it already, you might be interested in this interview with Diallo. It is better than written accounts, since we can watch the totality of her account, and there is more to analyze visually, including body movements and hand gestures, and also of course facial expressions. Her vocal intonations are also interesting. Many times, she is talking in a dramatic, over-exaggerated manner. Her non-verbal behavior is also highly dramatized. Also, she talks about Strauss-Kahn pushing her in the hallway (does she mean out of the hotel room?). [LA replies: No. His hotel suite was huge, with several rooms. It had at least one long hall.] In any case, I kept thinking “why doesn’t she scream for help if he was that violent?” I’m not sure if the complete interview is on-line, this video has just excerpts. It is also interesting to see who her lawyer is. My conclusion is that she’s lying.

LA writes:

I just watched it. She feels fake to me, she feels like she’s acting. That doesn’t mean that she’s acting. But it feels that way to me.

LA to Kidist:

I need a better word than “plain” in “Diallo the plain” in my Tennyson paraphrase. That’s just insulting. It is the opposite of “fair,” in “Elaine the fair,” but it doesn’t work. I had earlier tried “Diallo the dark,” which is the opposite of “Elaine the fair” in another sense of the word fair. But that sounded racist, though I did like the alliteration.

LA to Kidist:

I got it—“Diallo the fraud.” It picks up on the sound of “Elaine the fair.”

Kidist replies:

Lol. Yes.

The poem who have linked to has 1,506 lines! I look forward to reading it.

Diallo the fraud, Diallo the liar
Diallo the illegal maid of Sofitel

I think it works really well—Diallo/liar/illegal/lying/tale—sounds and also the “image” of the words—double l’s. Even the hard d’s work—Diallo/Fraud. Very good.

LA replies:

Thank you.

Anna writes:

The sad thing about truth and justice is perception.

An accomplished and attractive person can seem so honest (or disingenuous and disliked by some). A bumbling and unattractive person can seem dishonest (or disingenuous and disliked, by some). I like a system where facts must, without a reasonable doubt, determine the outcome.

LA replies:

Sure. And the fact is that she LIED about everything in her life, including, most importantly, perjurious lies about her behavior in the hotel immediately after the incident. And the fact is that once the prosecutors discovered her lies, they knew that she had no credibility, and they knew that since at least half the case depends on her testimony, her lack of credibility meant that there was no way to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that DSK did what she accuses him of doing.

These are all facts. I believe in facts, too.

Michael S. writes:

” … revealing her name, Nafissatou Diallo, though it has been known unofficially for some time.”

People named “Diallo” should just not be permitted to enter this country, period.

LA replies:


Alexis Zarkov writes:

Edward J. Epstein pulverizes the already shattered case against DSK. Writing in the Daily Beast, he reconstructs the time line for the alleged rape. “Walking the cat” backwards from DSK’s known check-out time at the front desk, and using the time stamps from the electronic door lock, Epstein calculates that DSK had ” … less than six minutes for him to pull her into the suite bedroom, lock the door, overpower her, and force her to commit fellatio, if the encounter took place as his accuser has alleged.” Epstein made a few reasonable assumptions as to how long it would have taken DSK to dress and brush his teeth. Evidently he went to Sofitel Hotel with a stopwatch and timed the walk to the elevator from the room, and from the elevator to the front desk.

In my opinion, this case is really dead. Less than six minutes to scuffle with a woman half his age, and then force her to perform oral sex has breaks the bounds of credibility. How does a fat bureaucrat force oral sex on a woman without any kind of weapon anyway? What would stop her from biting him and screaming for help? I simply don’t believe it, and I don’t think any reasonable jury would either.

At this point I’m mystified as to why the DA has not dismissed all charges. His only witness would get killed on cross examination. DSK’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman is one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country. He specializes in exactly this kind of high-profile, sensational criminal case. He’s gotten acquittals in far more difficult cases than this. This article in New York Magazine on Brafman makes for interesting reading. I learned that in this case Brafman is uncharacteristically quiet—for him. He’s usually very talkative with reporters, so much so that in one case, a U.S. attorney requested a gag order on Brafman. I think I know why. He’s got a mountain of negative material on Diallo—more than we know about so far. Lawyers with weak cases often make a lot of noise. When you have a strong case you shut up. Thus the maid goes public. Her lawyer must think they can try the case in the press and force the DA to go to trial. This strategy can work for the defense, but not for the prosecution. Here’s why.

DSK does not have to testify. Diallo does. Any negative background material on DSK is not admissible. Even if he had ten rape convictions, that’s inadmissible. If somehow he were found guilty, the judge can use prior convictions in the sentencing. Thus the recent allegations that he tried to rape a reporter in France cannot be admitted. His womanizing is inadmissible unless it were somehow directly related to the charge against him. If Brafman were to introduce evidence as to DSK’s good character then the DA could bring in evidence of bad character. Of course Brafman won’t do that. The DA is limited to Diallo’s testimony, forensics, other witnesses, and circumstances. He can’t try to prejudice the jury against DSK. If Diallo and her lawyer try to make this case into a media circus, they will make it harder to convict because Brafman can claim his client can’t get a fair trial in New York with all the adverse publicity. Diallo’s going public can hurt the case, not help.

On the other hand, Brafman can introduce negative material on Diallo. She’s not on trial. Within the boundaries of the rape shield laws, Brafman can use most anything to discredit her testimony, and he will. If Diallo is a hooker then that’s generally admissible because hooking is not an intimate private matter. This issue has come up before and case law holds that evidence of prostitution can be used to discredit testimony in a rape case. Perhaps New York State is different. One would need to study New York Case on on this to be sure.

Diallo might be planning a civil suit against DSK were the standard of proof is much lower. I suspect he will be long gone before that can happen, and Diallo might get deported or end up in jail herself.

Dan G.
The whole DSK affair is absurd. It should be obvious to anyone with common sense that the maid was not “forced” to perform oral sex on DSK. How would this even have been possible? Was DSK armed? Did he beat the maid severely? Since the answer to these two questions is No, I simply don’t see how one could even entertain the idea that a rape occurred.

LA replies:

You don’t mean rape, you mean forcible oral sodomy.

I asked the same question way back at the beginning, and someone had an answer for me. I’ll have to look it up.

July 26

Alissa writes:

In a weird way the maid’s name “Diallo” is similar to the Spanish word “Diablo” (and “Diablo” means Devil in English).

LA replies:

Well, let’s not go that far. I wouldn’t want to demonize her.

Paul K. writes:

I had the same reaction as you did when I saw the maid’s interview. She looked and sounded like a bad stage actress with her big gestures, exaggerated expressions, and melodramatic presentation. I couldn’t help wondering how this performance moved experienced prosecutors to tears, as was reported. She seemed utterly phony to me. (Admittedly, my reaction is influenced by what we now have learned about her.)

Also, how will her profession of shocked innocence gibe with reports of her history of prostitution? She presents herself as if she were some virginal servant on whom the lord of the manor had his way.

LA writes:

A story in today’s NYT indicates that the reason Diallo and her lawyer decided to go public, which is very irregular for the complainant in a sexual violence case, is that they expect the prosecutors to drop the indictment against DSK, and they are moving toward a civil suit instead. The NY Post says that they have already announced they are going to initiate such a suit.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 25, 2011 06:46 PM | Send

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