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Strauss-Kahn settlement talks under way, source says

By David Ariosto, CNN
August 23, 2012 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
There are talks of an out-of-court financial settlement over a civil suit that former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is facing in the Bronx Supreme Court.
There are talks of an out-of-court financial settlement over a civil suit that former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is facing in the Bronx Supreme Court.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kenneth Thompson, who represents Strauss-Kahn's accuser, denied the talks
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn's attorneys were not immediately available for comment
  • On August 23, 2011, Judge Michael Obus dismissed a criminal case
  • Weeks before that decision, accuser Nafissatou Diallo lodged a gender discrimination civil filing

New York (CNN) -- A year ago Thursday, a high-profile criminal case over attempted rape allegations in New York came to an end when a judge dismissed all charges against the former chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Now, there are talks of an out-of-court financial settlement over a civil suit that Dominique Strauss-Kahn still faces in Bronx Supreme Court, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

"Negotiations are under way," the source said.

Kenneth Thompson, who represents Strauss-Kahn accuser Nafissatou Diallo, denied the talks. Attorneys for Strauss-Kahn were not immediately available for comment.

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On August 23, 2011, Judge Michael Obus dismissed the criminal case and allowed Strauss-Kahn to go free, one day after prosecutors announced credibility issues with Diallo.

But just weeks before that decision, Diallo lodged a gender discrimination civil filing against the French financier, an unusual claim meant to allow other accusers to testify in hopes of demonstrating a pattern of prior discrimination against women.

Strauss-Kahn: I felt 'trapped, humiliated'

Thompson said Thursday that he hopes to call witnesses from the United States and Europe.

"Given that Strauss-Kahn faces a very public discussion of his sexual history at the potentially televised oral arguments of the motion to dismiss Diallo's gender discrimination claim, it would not be surprising for settlement discussions to be occurring now," CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said. "A settlement would avoid potential embarrassment for both sides."

In May, the former IMF chief filed a $1 million countersuit, claiming Diallo's allegations had hurt his political career.

He was taken into custody last May while boarding a flight from New York to France amid allegations of a sexual attack, and he was later presented before news media in handcuffs.

The incident stirred waves on both sides of the Atlantic and is largely thought to have cost him his chance at the French presidency.

But a year later, with French Socialist President Francois Hollande firmly in place, Strauss-Kahn's legal battles are still grinding away.

Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon is reviewing motions in the civil proceedings, according to David Bookstaver, a court spokesman.

In May, McKeon denied a motion by his lawyers to dismiss the lawsuit, citing diplomatic immunity.

There is no next date scheduled in the civil proceedings.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn remains under investigation in France for his alleged participation in a prostitution ring.

His attorney, Henri Leclerc, acknowledged in an interview with radio station Europe1 that his client attended sex parties but said that he was unaware the women in attendance were prostitutes.

Can France handle truth on sex lives of rich and powerful?

CNN's Dheepthi Namasivayam in Paris contributed to this report.

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