For all the their combative language on courthouse steps and in the press, a new round of reports on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case suggests an attempt at collusion between the attorneys defending the former International Monetary Fund director and those representing his accuser, Sofitel hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. NewsBeast and the Wall Street Journal both reported on Friday that sources within the New York District Attorney's Office said they were investigating the possibility that Diallo lawyer Kenneth Thompson met in secret with Strauss-Kahn lawyers Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, offering to sabotage the state's criminal case against Strauss-Kahn in return for a civil settlement. From the Journal:

People briefed on the matter said Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer for Sofitel hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, initiated the talks with Mr. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers after prosecutors began to learn of serious weaknesses in their sexual-assault case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn. No settlement was reached.

The negotiations allegedly took place in June, "after Thompson first disclosed problems with his client's credibility to prosecutors, but before prosecutors disclosed those problems to a court on July 1," NewsBeast reported. Prosecutors have requested records from Thompson's office that may show he sought a cash payout before filing a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn on Diallo's behalf in Bronx Supreme Court on Aug. 8.