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One Day, Jacques Chirac and Abner Louima Had a Dinner Date

Abner Louima

Abner Louima near his Miami home, from Details.Photo:

Ever since the night he was brutalized by police in August 1997, Abner Louima can’t go anywhere without being recognized. He tells Details magazine that in his new hometown of Miami, he gets stopped by neighbors and in grocery stores by people who remember his face from television and newspaper reports ten years ago. “People recognize me all over the world,” he told the mag. A few years back, Louima and his wife were vacationing in Paris and staying at the luxurious Hotel de Crillon (the $8.5 million settlement with the NYPD has left him very comfortable).

While jogging along the Place de Concorde, a fellow jogger introduced himself. He was a security officer for then-president Jacques Chirac, who had been exercising nearby and spotted Louima. Chirac took the Louima family for a nice dinner at the Palais de l’Elysées, and when they checked out of their hotel the next day, they discovered the bill had already been paid. Louima, who earned the public ire of one of the cops involved in his case last month after a Post article about his luxurious life, says he’s been smart about his money. He runs a small real-estate business and gives heavily to charity. “I think some people are disappointed because they expected me, as a black man, to be stupid,” he says, “to get all this money and blow it in two years like I won the lottery.” [Official site]

One Day, Jacques Chirac and Abner Louima Had a Dinner Date