The incarcerated man with whom Dominique Strauss-Kahn's sexual assault accuser had her now-infamous telephone conversation told Newsweek/The Daily Beast he was her fiance, and said the Sofitel hotel maid was telling the truth about the alleged crime. But his version of a their telephone conversation with her differs somewhat from that provided to The New York Times by someone in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
NewsBeast tracked down 35-year-old Amara Tarawally, of Sierra Leone, to the detention center in Arizona where he is awaiting a decision on his immigration status. As first described in the bombshell Times story, Tarawally had been "arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana." But Christine Pelisick, Terry Greene Sterling, and Christopher Dickey learned that he had plead out on that charge and had served his time. His version of the credibility-imploding conversation is best left to NewsBeast:
Tarawally said he has telephoned the maid more than once since the Strauss-Kahn incident, the last time about two weeks ago. (Detainees are not allowed to receive calls, but they are permitted to make them.) Tarawally claims that the conversation in which the maid said words to the effect of “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing” actually took place after an NYPD detective visited him in Arizona. Tarawally said he told the maid she should tell her lawyer about the detective’s visit and she responded, “I know what I’m doing.” But the conversation about Strauss-Kahn that’s in question was supposed to have been logged the day after the encounter with him in the Sofitel, and before the NYPD even knew Tarawally existed. Investigators have said they uncovered Tarawally’s identity only after lengthy examination of the maid’s several phones and their records. Tarawally did not explain this discrepancy, nor would he say exactly how many times he has talked to the maid since the alleged attack.
In another interesting detail from the story, the report states directly that the maid's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, is preparing a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn, a move long expected but not yet confirmed. But the report links, as evidence of the in-the-works suit, a Reuters analysis piece from yesterday that doesn't confirm a civil action is in the works. Thompson told NewsBeast that he had asked the district attorney's office for a transcript or recording of the conversation between the maid and Tarawally, but had not received it. "If Tarawally confirms that the maid was distraught and telling a consistent story, that 'is further evidence that Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in the hotel room, and that Strauss-Kahn's claim that the sexual encounter was consensual is preposterous,'" Thompson told the reporters.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.