The maid accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of assaulting her in a Manhattan hotel room is speaking out publicly for the first time.

The accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, had rejected media attempts to interview her since the story broke in May. But her photograph appears on the cover of the new issue of Newsweek, and ABC News says it will carry an exclusive broadcast interview with her on three of its programs on Monday.

Diallo's name had not been reported by major media outlets in the U.S., which generally protect the identities of people who say they've been sexually assaulted. But her name had been reported by some French outlets.

The 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea alleges that the former head of the International Monetary Fund sexually assaulted her while she was working at a Midtown hotel. Strauss-Kahn, widely seen as a potentially successful French presidential candidate before the allegations, was pulled off a plane and arrested hours later. He has denied the charges.

As the case garnered intense media coverage, questions arose about the accuser's credibility. Prosecutors have said she lied to them about her life story and what she did in the moments after the encounter. Media reports raised questions about her motivations and activities in New York.

In a preview posted online Sunday, Diallo told ABC she never wanted to be in the public eye but had no choice amid questions about her credibility.

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn called the interviews "an unseemly circus" designed to inflame public opinion. In a statement released Sunday, defence attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman accused Diallo's lawyers of unprofessional conduct and called for the charges to be dismissed.

A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the investigation is continuing and declined to discuss the case further.