Ophelia sues NY Post for libel
12 July, 2011
Clues as to how Ophelia may have ended up looking for work at the Sofitel are in her application papers. The application asks how the applicant had learned of the hotel; the woman checked a box for “Agency.” In the “references” portion of the application, the woman put down a worker with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an agency that assists refugees with employment, among other things. When contacted about the accuser, IRC declined comment, citing policy not to talk about individual cases. The New York Post’s “scoop” on Dominique Strauss Kahn’s accuser is getting fishier, to the extent that’s possible. The paper appears to have had documentation challenging the reliability of its only source in a story alleging that the accuser had worked as a prostitute. here In civil cases, where the loser is liable for money damages, the standard is a “preponderance of the evidence” — essentially, that it was more likely than not that the defendant was responsible.
This distinction can be particularly appealing to a witness who, like Strauss-Kahn’s accuser, has credibility problems.
The hotel maid in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case filed a libel suit against The New York Post over a series of articles it published during the Fourth of July weekend claiming that she was a prostitute.
At a hearing to seek changes to his bail conditions, prosecutors said the credibility of the woman at the center of the case had been thrown into question. As a result, the court agreed to let Strauss-Kahn be freed and his bail and bond returned. He agreed to return to court as needed, including for a July 18 hearing.
“I understand that the circumstances of this case have changed substantially and I agree the risk that he would not be here has receded quite a bit. I release Mr. Strauss-Kahn at his own recognizance,” Justice Michael Obus told the court.
A clue: the unexplained retreat of lawyers Jeffrey Shapiro and Norman Siegel, originally chosen by the presumed victim, in favor of media-savvy Kenneth Thompson, whose angle on the case was that it pitted the rich and powerful against the poor without a voice. His client, he said, was “standing up for all women and children around the world who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused.”
Strauss-Kahn smiled as he walked out of the court. He still faces felony charges of attempted rape and sexually assault. The head of the Manhattan district attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit for almost a decade stepped down on June 29 after unrelated concerns about a TV documentary.