TODAY   |  May 18, 2011

Attorney for hotel maid: She is ‘scared’

Jeffrey Shapiro, the attorney for the hotel maid who has accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, tells TODAY’s Meredith Vieira  the alleged victim fears for herself and her daughter.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> shapiro is the lawyer for the alleged victim and he's with us.

>> good morning.

>> your client is expected to testify this morning. can you confirm that?

>> i believe it will take place today, yes.

>> what's her mindset headed into that?

>> she's been in a whirlwind since this has taken place. this is a woman who is a rape victim, the victim of physical assault who since this has taken place and she reported it to security at the hotel has not had a moment of peace. she's not been able to return home, seek help.

>> where is she now?

>> being held in a safe place . fortunately now with her daughter. we have reunited her with her daughter as of two nights ago.

>> from what i understand, reports of your client, her daughter is 15 years old.

>> that's correct.

>> she's 42?

>> 32.

>> i'm sorry. originally from guinea.

>> yes.

>> what else can you tell us about her?

>> she came here under difficult circumstances. essentially seeking asylum in the united states with limited opportunity for education or experience in guinea. came here to make a better life for herself and her daughter. she's a single mother. she came here, learned to become a chamber maid. she was delighted to have the job. worked in the hotel for approximately three years before this incident took place.

>> in the new york post today it said she's livinging in housinging set aside for people who have aids or are hiv positive . can you confirm that?

>> absolutely not. outrageous.

>> you said she's afraid that someone may try to hurt her. can you be more specific? there have been threats against her life?

>> what the world has to understand is she came from a part of the world where laws were few and far between. justice wasn't readily available, at least to people without means. that's why she's grateful to be in the united states . nonetheless when she found out this encounter was with a man of great power and wealth she fears for herself and for her daughter.

>> on monday the lawyers for dominique said they were going to prove this was not a forcible encounter, that we believe the evidence will show this is not consistent with a forcible encounter meaning the sex was consensu consensual. what's your reaction?

>> i think when a jury hears her testimony and sees her in person and she can be public and tell her story their claims of consensual sex or encounters are not true. there is nothinging consensual about what took place in that hotel room .

>> when was she aware who this was? she didn't know at the time.

>> the day after.

>> how did she find out.

>> a friend called to say, do you have any idea who this man is that did this to you?

>> what was her reaction when she found out?

>> scared, incredulous, not knowing what to do. at that point, she already realized she could not go home. when she attempted to go back to her apartment, it was -- there were 30 media people outside. she was scared for herself. had to be taken away. she lived in hotel rooms day after day . she feels she can't go home. she feels she's been excised from her life. doesn't know what her future will bring. and doesn't know how she can ever resume a life, much less how to deal with having been assaulted and raped.

>> with all of that she's prepared to testify?

>> she is prepared to do whatever she is asked to do which she has been cooperative with the new york city police department, the district attorney's office and hours and hours of involvement. she doesn't have an agenda. she's toing it because she believes it is her responsibility to do so and she will do it.

>> thank you so much.

>> thank you.