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$5m for Monica movie

HOLLYWOOD HAD better watch out. The Russians are offering $5m to Monica Lewinsky if she will agree to star in the film of her own story and the affair with President Clinton.

There are, of course, several hitches. She must speak Russian and she must take part in explicit scenes. And she must work for a director who used to be a psychiatrist with the KGB.

The film, Bill i Monika, is the brainchild of Alexander Sorokin, who turned to film-making after years working at top secret KGB mental hospitals.

Mr Sorokin plans to present Mr Clinton as the victim of the piece. He believes he is recording a "story of our times", claiming we are "heading toward a time of Caesars."

There are certain "totems of our time", he said, "the sexual organ of Clinton, Yeltsin's vodka glass and the wives of Gerhard Schroder."

Although he won't identify his sponsors, he claims to have raised about $2m - less than half of his intended offer to Ms Lewinsky. However, if she declines, he expects to recruit a less expensive Russian actress. He does not expect a big budget. "Most of the scenes will take place in the Oval Office or the area around it. We don't have to build much scenery."

The probable bankers behind the plan appear to be the ultra-nationalist Russian LDPR party, whose leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is a connoisseur of political incorrectness. Russians sided with Mr Clinton over Monicagate, generally viewing sex scandals among politicians as a proof of masculine prowess. One post-Monica poll showed the US president was more popular than Russian leaders.