Dominique Strauss- Kahn’s accuser held a brief press conference today in a Brooklyn mega- church. Although she has been giving interviews over the past week, this was her first live public appearance since the May 14th incident at the Sofitel.
“Hi, my name is Nafi… Diallo,” she said softly.
“Just take your time,” suggested her attorney Kenneth Thompson.
“I’m here because I heard people call me a lot of bad names. A lot of bad things. That’s why I have to be here and let people know a lot of things they say about me are not true,” Ms. Diallo explained to the crowd, barely audible above the din of clicking cameras and snapping flashbulbs.
Ms. Diallo said that she drew strength from her daughter. “My daughter was crying, but one day my daughter told me, she goes, ‘Mom please promise me you’ll stop crying… People tell bad things about you because they don’t know you. You have to remember this guy, he’s a powerful man everybody knows that… For you, only the people that you work with or our neighbors… but those people say good things about you because they know you. Please mom stop crying. Be strong for me.’”
Ms. Diallo discussed the emotional toll exacted on her family over the past two months. “This is just too much for me. Too much for me and my daughter,” Ms. Diallo said. “What happened to me I don’t want it to have to happen to any other woman.”
Although unnamed in the press until this week, Ms. Diallo has been the subject of much speculation and negative media attention of late. Her case began to unravel weeks ago when Ms. Diallo was reportedly taped talking to an inmate about DSK’s wealth. The translation of that recording has now been called into question. Ms. Diallo met with prosecutors for eight hours today to discuss the alleged mis-translation.
The controversy centered around Ms. Diallo supposedly telling the inmate, “He has a lot of money. I know what to do,” referring, of course, to DSK. Her intentions and credibility were immediately called into question.
Today, however, Ms. Diallo’s lawyers are suggesting that her Guinean dialect was mis-translated by the interpreter. Ms. Diallo and her supporters claim that it was in fact the inmate who made the observation about DSK’s wealth. Her comment “I know what to do,” was an unrelated response to the inmate’s inquiry about whether she had hired a lawyer.
The press conference today was the latest effort by Ms. Diallo’s camp to combat the aggressive media onslaught against her. She is pictured on the cover of this week’s Newsweek and gave a tell-all interview to ABC News this Monday. Although some credibility questions remain, we surely haven’t heard the last of Nafi Diallo.
Photo from France 24