The New York Post has a report today alleging that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's friends are trying to pay hush money to the family of the maid accusing him of attempted rape. According to the paper, while the maid remains in protective custody, the former IMF chief's friends reached out to her impoverished extended family in French colony of Guinea in West Africa.
"They already talked with her family," a French businesswoman with close ties to Strauss-Kahn and his family told The Post. "For sure, it's going to end up on a quiet note ... He'll get out of it and will fly back to France. He won't spend time in jail. The woman will get a lot of money," said the source, adding that a seven-figure sum has been bandied about."
Beyond that anonymous quote, there isn't much to support the Post's claims. Quite the contrary: A reporter for the French wire service Agence France Presse actually traveled to the remote Guinean village of Tchiakoulle where the maid's extended family lives. Her family had not heard of the rape and the woman had severed most ties with her kin:
"Since my sister left over 10 years ago, I have spoken to her once," said Boubacar, her half-brother. "It was after dad's death. I was in Bissau. I called to give her my condolences but as soon as she saw the number she realised it was from Africa and said: "don't bother calling me. She didn't know who was on the other end of the line but when I told her she agreed to talk to me." Her uncle also has had no news from his niece: "Since she left I haven't received a letter, photos, nothing."
Add to that the Post's own reporting that the D.A. is monitoring the alleged victim's phone calls to prevent it, it becomes even more unlikely that the woman's family would be in a position to influence her. The allegations against Strauss-Kahn are grave enough — perhaps it's best to focus on the ones that are verifiable.