Statement Analysis®

Allegations Against Dominique Strauss-Kahn


Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On May 14, 2011, Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York City and charged with sexually assaulting a maid who was cleaning his hotel suite. Although he has not yet entered a plea, he has denied the allegations. On May 18, 2011, Strauss-Kahn resigned as the Managing Director of the IMF. In his formal letter of resignation to the Executive Board of the IMF, he gave the following denial:

"To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

Strauss-Kahn does not tell us that he did nothing wrong. Instead, he uses the word "deny" to proclaim his innocence. While the word "deny" can mean the person is stating that something believed to be true is not true, this word also means to refuse to accept or acknowledge something. If we have a friend who is an alcoholic and he refuses to admit he is an alcoholic, we say that he is in denial. It may be that when Strauss-Kahn denies the allegations he is refusing to accept the fact he committed the crime. It is hard for a person to tell a lie. Therefore, they will often avoid denying the specific charges and will give a broad denial.

After his resignation, Strauss-Kahn sent an email apologizing to his colleagues at the IMF. In this email, he makes the following denial:

"I deny in the strongest possible terms the allegations which I now face; I am confident that the truth will come out and I will be exonerated."

Again he uses the word deny and does not specifically address any of the allegations. He says he is "confident" the truth will come out. While this sounds like a positive statement, a better statement would be, "The truth will come out" or "I know the truth will come out." He states he will be exonerated which is what we want to hear. The problem is it appears the word "confident" also goes with his proclamation. The word "and" is a connective word that joins "I am confident" with "I will be exonerated." Years ago we saw something similar with Marv Albert when he said, "I am confident I will be exonerated when these allegations are addressed in a public courtroom." Albert ended up pleading guilty to reduce charges. We will have to see how this case turns out.

UPDATE

On July 1, 2011, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest after prosecutors acknowledged there were problems with the credibility of his accuser. The State did not ask the judge to dismiss the charges as they still believe something happened other than a consensual act.

UPDATE

The maid who accused Stauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her has identified herself. Her name is Nafissatou Diallo. On July 25, 2011, she gave an interview to Newsweek magazine and to ABC's Good Morning America. The Newsweek interview turned into an article with some of Diallo's quotes. The journalists who wrote the article talk more than she does.

The Good Morning America interview appears to have been cut up into several segments. I did not watch it on television. On the internet, it is difficult to tell how the interview flows. They have also edited the interview. I have seen on ABC's website quotes from the victim. However, when I listen to her interview I never hear some of their quotes. Other quotes that ABC has on their website are not accurate quotes. For example,

ABC website: "I saw a little man come to me. He come naked."
What she actually said: "I saw a naked man come to me. He come naked."

ABC website: "He's trying to put his penis in my mouth."
What she actually said: "He tried to put his penis in my, my mouth." We know how important verb tenses can be.

ABC website: "I had a - my uniform is a dress - we have, I have a dress on. He pulls up my dress...I tried to pull my dress back...he puts his hand between my legs."
What was broadcast on the internet: "I have dress on. He pulled my dress up. He put, he put, he put his hand between legs." I never heard the underlined portions of ABC's quote.

ABC website: "I was splitting...and I run out of the room."
What was broadcast on the internet: "I was spitting there, I spit there and I run."

I don't have the time to piece her interview together and try to figure out what she said and did not say. Please let me know if you find an accurate transcript of the interview she gave to ABC and I will be glad to analyze it. I will say that based on her body language, it appears she is being truthful.

UPDATE

On August 23, 2011, the Manhattan district attorney's office asked a judge to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The prosecutors office had lost their confidence that Strauss-Kahn's accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, was telling the truth. Strauss-Kahn is still faces a civil suit filed by Ms. Diallo. He also faces accusations in France that he tried to rape a French writer eight years ago. The police are currently investigating those claims.

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