NEW YORK — In a quiet, breaking voice, the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault said Thursday that she has started speaking publicly because she needs to be strong for her teenage daughter — and for women around the world.
Nafissatou Diallo told a throng of reporters that she wanted to "let people know a lot of things they say about me is not true." She spoke at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn amid a score of supporters from the church and around the city.
"My daughter is crying, but one day, she goes, 'Mom, please promise me you're going to stop crying,' " the Guinean immigrant said in accented English.
Diallo said she felt she needed to come forward because people were saying things that were untrue about her — including published articles claiming she was money-grubbing and a prostitute.
But she also said that she made a promise to her daughter.
"I told her, 'I promise I'm going to be strong for you and for every other woman in the world,' " she said.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted rape and other crimes. He was freed from house arrest after prosecutors admitted they had uncovered information that cast doubt on Diallo's credibility.
In his letter of resignation as head of the International Monetary Fund in May, Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations.