The Cutline

DSK accuser goes public in high-profile Newsweek, ABC News ‘exclusives’

Joe Pompeo
The Cutline

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All through the time that New York prosecutors called her credibility into question and the media was casting further aspersions on her reputation, the maid who claims French political power player Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan hotel room in May kept her identity shielded from public view.

But now the embattled accuser--whose name is Nafissatou Diallo--has spoken publicly for the first time since her alleged assault in a pair of exclusives for Newsweek and ABC.

Diallo shared her tale with Christopher Dickey and John Solomon for the latest issue of Newsweek, which hit stands Monday.

She is "not glamorous," they write, in what appears to be the first narrative description of the 32-year-old Guinean immigrant. "Her light-brown skin is pitted with what look like faint acne scars, and her dark hair is hennaed, straightened, and worn flat to her head, but she has a womanly, statuesque figure. ... Diallo cannot read or write in any language; she has few 'close friends.' "

She also outlined her allegations in lurid detail for the magazine. "He pulls me hard to the bed," she recalled. "I push him. I get up. I wanted to scare him."

Diallo also spoke with ABC's Brian Roberts in an interview that aired in part on Monday's "Good Morning America" and will continue to roll out on this evening's "World News with Diane Sawyer" and Tuesday's "Nightline."

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," she said. "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." You can watch a video of the "Good Morning America" segment below:

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance initially claimed it had a rock-solid case against Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of attempting to rape Diallo when she came to clean his room at the Sofitel one afternoon in May. (He maintains their encounter was consensual.)

But the case began to unravel in early July, as inconsistencies in Diallo's account and revelations about her past came to light. The New York Post went so far as to report that Diallo was a prostitute, an allegation it attributed to a single anonymous source. She has filed a libel lawsuit against the tabloid in response.

Strauss-Kahn, meanwhile, was released from house arrest in early July and Vance is now considering whether to drop the charges against him. But Diallo stands by her story.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth," she told ABC News. "From my heart. God Knows that. And he knows that."

Straus-Kahn's attorney's pushed back on Diallo's press offensive by firing off a statement suggesting that the accuser is looking merely to profit from her charges.

"Ms. Diallo is the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money," they wrote. "Her lawyers and public relations consultants have orchestrated an unprecedented number of media events and rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them."

For ABC News, the network's access to Diallo marks its second major coup in the past month. Several weeks ago, it became the first and only news organization to land an interview with 18-year kidnapping-victim turned memoirist Jaycee Dugard, a feature which generated huge ratings for the network. The network reportedly paid a reported six-figure sum to Dugard--though technically not for the interview itself, but rather for childhood home videos of the 31-year-old California woman.

The network's communications chief told media blog Romenesko that Diallo received "zero" compensation.

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