Video: IMF chief placed on suicide watch

  1. Transcript of: IMF chief placed on suicide watch

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And here in New York today, new twists and turns in that sex crime case involving one of the world's most powerful bankers and a housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel. Both sides are speaking out through lawyers about what did or did not happen there. NBC 's Jeff Rossen is outside the Rikers Island lockup, where Dominique Strauss-Kahn is locked up tonight without bail. Jeff , good evening.

    JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hi , Brian , good evening to you. Law enforcement sources now telling NBC News that Dominique Strauss-Kahn , the leader of the IMF , the International Monetary Fund , the man who may have become France 's next president, is on suicide watch here at Rikers Island . That means no shoelaces; that power suit he used to wear has been replaced by a gray sweatsuit and sneakers, as well. They check on him every 15 to 30 minutes. We also learned much more today about the criminal case against him. Police say they have forensic evidence, including DNA , showing that he did, in fact, sexually assault the hotel maid at a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan over the weekend. In court yesterday the defense hinted they may have an explanation for that, the fact that it was consensual, they both agreed to the sexual encounter. But late today the maid's lawyer spoke out, saying no question about it, this was 100 percent forcible.

    Mr. JEFFREY SHAPIRO (Victim's Attorney): There is nothing, nothing about what took place in this hotel room that could any way be construed as consensual either physical contact or sexual contact. Absolutely none. He can make any allegation he wishes to make, but that's simply not the truth. And that won't -- that will never prevail as evidence in this case.

    ROSSEN: As we mentioned, police have collected DNA from the hotel. They have also collected DNA from Dominique Strauss-Kahn himself, Brian . There -- that DNA 's now in the lab. They're trying to get a match. Results aren't in yet. There's another hearing on Friday. But for now he remains here at Rikers without bail.

    WILLIAMS: Jeff Rossen over at Rikers Island , not far from LaGuardia Airport here in New York tonight. Jeff , thanks.

Image: Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Emmanuel Dunand  /  AP file
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. staff and news service reports
updated 5/17/2011 9:06:18 PM ET 2011-05-18T01:06:18

The hotel maid who accuses International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her is a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea who told her brother, "somebody has done something really bad to me," according to media reports.

Her identity has been withheld in U.S. media publications, in accordance with standard journalistic practice. But media outlets in France, where Strauss-Kahn is from, began reporting her name Tuesday.

  1. Related stories
    1. Field for new IMF chief thins
    2. Strauss-Kahn released pending trial
    3. NYT: Sexual 'pirates' prowled IMF for women
    4. The two faces of Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    5. Essay: When powerful men cross the line

Among the outlets to identify the woman by name are Paris Match, radio station RMC, Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève and, according to ( is a French website that is editorially independent from Slate, although Slate does own 15 percent of it.), citing relatives of the accuser, reports that the woman is a legal immigrant from the west African nation of Guinea and is of the Fulani ethnic group. She is a Muslim who has been living in the U.S. since 1998, when she followed her then-husband to the United States. The pair later divorced, according to the report, and the woman is now a single parent of a 15-year-old daughter.

"She is a good Muslim. She is really pretty, like many Fulani women, but in our culture, we do not accept this type of aggression," a cousin of the woman told

The New York Times reported she was granted asylum seven years ago, is a widow and speaks French and some English.

Story: IMF chief a 'honey trap' victim? Conspiracy theories swirl

The woman phoned her older brother in New York about an hour after the alleged sexual assault and said, "Somebody has done something really bad to me. I've been attacked," the Daily Mail of London reported Tuesday.

Strauss-Kahn was under a suicide watch in jail at New York's Rikers Island. The 62-year-old managing director of the IMF was arrested Saturday and is being held without bail. Through his lawyers, he has denied any wrongdoing.

The woman has said through her lawyer that she had no idea who he was when she reported him to the police.

She told her brother in the phone call that her attacker twice tried to force himself on her inside a bedroom in a suite at the Sofitel hotel where she worked.

"No family should have to go through this," the woman's brother told the Daily Mail. "She is a hard-working woman who is just a victim. She is a wonderful West African immigrant who just wants to work hard."

The brother said that he wanted to see Strauss-Kahn face a trial if he pleaded not guilty. "I trust the American justice system and will let it do what it has to do," he told the newspaper.

Relatives of the woman strongly denied accusations that she was part of a larger scheme aimed at discrediting Strauss-Kahn, a prominent politician in France’s Socialist Party who had been considered a front-runner to unseat President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"No, no, no! People must understand that … [She] is part of the Guinean Fulani community, and she is not interested in politics,” a relative told “She has no right to vote in the U.S. and does not even participate in our Guinean political associations."

The woman's attorney, Jeffrey Shapiro, said Tuesday that "her life has been turned upside down." The woman is in seclusion but cooperating with prosecutors and police, Shapiro said.

"She can't go home. She can't go to work," he said.

© 2013

Timeline: Dominique Strauss-Kahn


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments