Newsweek Cover: The Maid’s Tale, 24 July 2011
She was paid to clean up after the rich and powerful. Then she walked into Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s room—and a global scandal. Now she tells her story.
Further elaboration on The Daily Beast:
DSK Maid Breaks Her Silence
In an exclusive interview in this week’s Newsweek, Nafissatou Diallo tells her story, describing in detail the alleged attack by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, what her life has been like since—and why she wants justice.
The Strauss-Kahn Timeline
Gathered from police records, court documents and exclusive interviews by NEWSWEEK, a complete chronology of the sexual-assault case that has shaken politics on both sides of the Atlantic.
Is your spouse financially cheating on you?
Here are stories of real-life romances gone awry with money mishaps an rip-offs. The names of the sneaky spouses have been changed.
The case of the home equity home wrecker
Lynette secretly drained $100,000 from her home equity line of credit to pay for her gambling habit. Husband George had no clue until the lender tipped him off. While Lynette’s gambling was out of control, George shares some of the blame for being so oblivious.
“It’s not illegal if the title is in both names,” says Ruth Hayden, a financial counselor and author of “Your Money Life: The ‘Make-It-Work’ Workbook.” “You can’t open or raise a line of credit without both signatures, but you’re free to run it up to the max.”
Lynette entered treatment for her gambling addiction, and she’s only allowed a small amount of personal money for three months at a time. The couple is repaying their equity loan.
Believe it or not, Hayden reports, “It was rough for about a year just to get the trust back, but their marriage has never been better.”
Friends with bottom-line benefits
Kaylee’s credit was excellent; her fiancé Rob’s not so much. To prepare for their nuptials, Kaylee agreed to transfer $16,000 of Rob’s debt onto her credit card. They called it quits before the “I do’s,” leaving Kaylee strapped with Rob’s debt. Rob’s poor credit prevents him from taking it back.
Kaylee’s mistake was allowing her feelings for her fiancé, where weren’t exactly permanent, to extend to his debts, which are permanent.
Many lovers have co-signed a credit card or loaned their partner money only to regret it. “Don’t do it. Ever. Ever!” says Hayden. “If a person can’t get a loan from a bank, why would they be able to make the payments to you?”
Hayden says that this case serves as a reality check for the risk it puts on a relationship.
If Rob’s a standup guy, he’ll commit to a cash repayment plan or open a credit card to gradually transfer his debt back where it belongs.
Big shots can have big money problems
Aaron was in a partnership with some high rollers that made him feel like he had arrived. When he learned that he owed the IRS $24,000 in back taxes, his big-time buddies told him not to worry; their accountants were on it. His financial counselor Hayden advised him to pay up instead of risk more back taxes. Aaron got angry and ignored the advice. He owed $320,000 10 years later. Aaron and his wife had to repay it to keep him out of prison.
Ego can trump judgment for people who are making it big. “They’re willing to take enormous risks, and one of the risks they’ll take is with the IRS,” says Hayden.
The fix? “One, what money is yours, what money is mine, what money is going to retirement, and how does it all add up? And two, does it feel fair to both of us.”
She paid for Aaron’s mistake because they both signed the tax return, but she wanted him to pay it.
The high cost of a midlife crisis
Arthur, a married attorney in his 60s, drained his 401(k) to pay for a condo, clothes, travel and entertainment for a woman 40 years his junior. His wife, Faith, didn’t know about the affair or the damage he had done to their nest egg because he normally traveled for work. Both women eventually dumped him.
“The really big spousal thefts now have to do with 401(k) money, and until you get to tax time, you might not even know about it,” says Hayden.
Hayden recommends checking your investments once a month together. “What are our investments? Where are our savings? Do our accounts balance? What are our debts? Not too much harm can happen in a month.”
Find more stories on marital money theft here.