Full steam ahead for Dominique Strauss-Kahn who is now countersuing Nafissatou Diallo, the housekeeper at the Manhattan hotel who last year accused him of rape. He says her statements about him damaged his political career and cost him his job as managing director of the International Monetary Fund and “other professional opportunities”. How much is that worth? DSK says a cool $1 million plus punitive damages.
His lawyers said Diallo was “directly responsible for his being arrested, imprisoned and subjected to extraordinary pain, anguish and expense.” Batting back, a lawyer for Diallo countered, “Strauss-Kahn’s lawsuit is yet another publicity stunt, smacks of desperation and will be easily defeated.”
All of this against a backdrop of DSK being charged on separate matters, including a French allegation of involvement in a prostitution ring and an accusation of assaulting of a woman at a hotel in Washington in 2010. He has denied wrongdoing on both counts.
The PR Verdict: “C” for DSK and his team. Given unrelated allegations have surfaced after Diallo’s, demanding punitive damages from a hotel housekeeper seems heavy handed.
PR Takeaway: Outrage and fury work best when not mitigated by complicating facts. DSK’s decision to sue might be for all the right reasons but with a prostitution charge hanging over his head, demanding a million dollar settlement from a hotel housekeeper is unlikely to rescue his reputation. To make the same point go ahead and file, but in deference to the financial situation of Diallo, unsympathetic public opinion and some very compromising ongoing legal issues, sue for a nominal sum only.
To read more click here
What’s your PR Verdict?