The New York hotel where Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a maid admitted today reports that its employees congratulated each other after the incident but said this was unconnected.
The Sofitel group made the statement in response to an article in the New York Review of Books that describes camera footage from its Manhattan hotel on May 14, the day the ex-IMF chief was arrested on sexual assault charges.It reportedly shows one employee high-fiving a colleague and appearing to perform a celebratory dance after listening to testimony by Nafissatou Diallo, the maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of assaulting her.
Journalist Edward Epstein wrote that the "celebratory dance" came just minutes after the hotel's security chief finally called police to follow up on Diallo's complaint.
The Sofitel statement noted that "the article... affirms that two Sofitel employees were filmed by hotel surveillance cameras 'rejoicing' for three minutes."
"In reality, these facts lasted eight seconds, and there is no evidence of a 'celebratory dance'," it said, adding that the two employees "categorically denied this exchange had any link whatsoever with Mr. Strauss-Kahn."
The statement did not say what the men where rejoicing over. A spokeswoman for Accor, the company that owns the Sofitel groups, told AFP she was also unable to say what the cause of the celebration was.
The Sofitel statement came the same day that France's interior minister dismissed as "pure fantasy" hints by associates of Strauss-Kahn of a setup leading to his New York arrest.
AFP 271534 GMT NOV 11