Nafissatou Diallo never said she wanted money from DSK

Breaking: Nafissatou Diallo is holding a press conference right now.

Remember when the DSK rape case started to unravel thanks to doubts about Nafissatou Diallo’s “credibility”? Remember, in particular, that New York Times story that cited an anonymous law enforcement official who claimed that in a recorded phone conversation Diallo told a friend, “Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.”

Well, turns out that didn’t really happen. Yesterday, Diallo, her lawyer, and an interpreter sat down with prosecutors to actually listen to the tapes–and a very different picture emerged. The Associated Press reports:

In her first conversation with the man, she didn’t mention Strauss-Kahn’s wealth at all, instead telling her friend that “someone tried to rape me, and that he’s a powerful, big man,” who had tried to take her clothes off, pushed her, and ultimately made her do something against her will, Thompson said.

In a subsequent conversation, she told her friend that her attacker “is powerful and rich,” her lawyer said. But it was earlier in that conversation — and not in connection with any mention of Strauss-Kahn’s status — that she said “I know what to do” to signal that she gone to authorities, planned to hire a lawyer and would be all right, Thompson said.

“Her primary focus was on what happened to her, how she was coping with the fact that she had almost been raped,” he said.

So not so much the money-grubbing, lying criminal she’s been portrayed as? Color me shocked! Also, even if Diallo had mentioned wanted to get money from DSK, as her lawyer points out, it’s totally within her rights to file a lawsuit. You had better believe that if I am ever sexually assaulted by a man who turns out to be as rich and powerful as DSK, I will sue the shit out of him. I will preemptively go on the record as saying that right now.

I look forward to an explanation about why an anonymous law enforcement official was peddling lies about an alleged rape victim to the press, as well as retractions and apologies from the New York Times and all the other media outlets that repeated these gross misrepresentations.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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