ABC's Robin Roberts talkes to the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, Nafissatou Diallo in New York
ABC's Robin Roberts talkes to the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, Nafissatou Diallo in New York, July 24, 2011. Reuters

The woman accusing former International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, defended her position by saying she's "telling the truth from my heart," in an interview broadcast Monday.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," the New York maid told ABC's Good Morning America. "I want him to know you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

The 32-year-old hotel maid, whose credibility was recently called into question by prosecutors and Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, said she was terrified when she found out how powerful Strauss-Kahn was.

Explaining her reaction when she understood who the man who allegedly assaulted her really is, "I said, 'Oh, my God.' I was crying. I said, 'They're going to kill me, I'm going to die.'" She then went on to argue that in her native Guinea, West Africa, accusing "a powerful man like that" would put her life in danger.

Nafissatou Diallo's choice to go public with her accusations in the middle of a pending criminal investigation is extremely unusual, as usually lawyers advise their clients to remain private during investigation and court procedures.

On May 14, Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn of assaulting and trying to rape her at Manhattan's Sofitel Hotel, where she was an employee. Strauss-Kahn was subsequently charged in New York with sexual abuse and attempted rape but pleaded not guilty to all counts and insists the encounter with Diallo was consensual.

Reacting to Diallo's interview, Strauss-Kahn's attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman issued a statement on Sunday calling Diallo "the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money."

"The number of rallies, press conferences and media events they have orchestrated is exceeded only by the number of lies and misstatements she has made to law enforcement, friends, medical professionals and reporters," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said, referring to her and her attorney's actions. "It is time for this unseemly circus to stop."

Kenneth Thompson, Diallo's attorney, shot back accusing Strauss-Kahn's attorneys of conducting "an unprecedented smear campaign against the victim of a violent sexual attack."

"Because of those contemptible, baseless and anonymous attacks, Ms. Diallo was forced to come forward in order to put a face to the brutal crime," Thompson said in a statement.

On July 1, a judge freed Strauss-Kahn from house arrest after prosecutors presented evidence showing that Diallo admitted she had lied about the specifics of her whereabouts after the incident and, from her past, the details of an asylum application and information she put on tax forms.

However in a string of recent interviews, Diallo and her lawyers have provided several graphic details about the attack. As the public started to turn against her, after allegations emerged that the case against Strauss-Khan could be dropped, Diallo is now clearly going on a press offensive.

She insists that her story of what happened in the hotel is the unvarnished truth, and described the attack during her TV interview.

"He came to me and grabbed my breasts," she told ABC, adding that she asked him to stop and said "I don't want to lose my job."

"I was like, 'Stop this, stop this,'" she said in the interview. But, she insisted, Strauss-Kahn "kept pushing me back to the hallway... I was so afraid. I was so scared."

Also, in another interview with Newsweek, conducted at her lawyer's office in New York City, Diallo said Strauss-Kahn was naked when he slammed the door shut to his luxury hotel room, forced himself upon her and tried to make her perform oral sex on him.

She said she was "nervous" and "scared" when she eventually ran from Strauss-Kahn's hotel room, ending an incident that took about 15 minutes.

In recent weeks, the story faced another twist as writer Tristane Banon's filed a complaint accusing Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in France, stemming from an alleged 2003 incident in Paris. A lawyer for Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations and filed a counter-claim against Banon for libel.

Meanwhile, Diallo filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Post and five of its reporters after the newspaper reported that the woman accusing Strauss-Kahn was a prostitute. The paper cited anonymous sources and despite the lawsuit said it stands by its reporting.

"Because of him they call me a prostitute," Diallo said in the Newsweek interview, blaming Strauss-Kahn for the accusations.

Strauss-Kahn's next court date for the New York incident is scheduled for Aug. 1. The hearing had been pushed back from mid-July as prosecutors tried to determine whether to drop the charges or move forward in the case, said Erin Duggan, communications director for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

On Sunday, amid the fresh attention related to Diallo's interviews, Duggan refrained from comment on what she called the "pending criminal case."

"To protect the integrity of the criminal justice system, the rights of the victim, and the rights of the accused, we will not discuss the facts or evidence in what remains an ongoing investigation," she said in a statement.