Clinton faces sex-life grilling - News - The Independent

Clinton faces sex-life grilling

John Carlin in Washington on the historic hearing in which the President faced his accuser Paula Jones (now, left, and before) accuses

AS THE Butcher of Baghdad was rattling his sabre at Uncle Sam yesterday, Bill Clinton was confronting a domestic threat in Washington that poses no less fearsome a challenge to his presidential fortunes.

He came face to face with Paula Jones, the young woman from Arkansas whose charge that, seven years ago, he dropped his trousers in front of her and invited her to perform oral sex could well be fixed for evermore as the defining memory of his presidency.

Behind closed doors, but with Ms Jones in attendance, he was subjected under oath to the almost six-hour ordeal of answering questions about his sex life from his accuser's lawyers. The extraordinary deposition hearing marked the first time that an American president had testified as a defendant in a legal proceeding.

While Mr Clinton's motorcade disappeared straight into the underground garage of his lawyer's office building, Ms Jones seemed to be having the time of her life. Smiling broadly for the cameras upon her arrival, she exuded the confidence of a woman who, at 31, knows she is looking better than she ever has done.

Students of style have gasped at her transformation from "big-haired floozy" - one term used to describe her by White House insiders when she filed suit against the President in 1994 - to respectably elegant Washington power-dame.

Aware that her "trailer-trash" looks might count against her in the eyes of a jury, her handlers put her in the charge of hairstylist Daniel DiCriscio, a Los Angeles make-over king who counts Pamela Lee and Playboy cover-girls among his clients.

Interviewed by the Washington Post last week, Mr DiCriscio said he had spent five months overhauling Ms Jones's frizzy mane to achieve today's softer, sleekly-layered effect.

"I removed the perm," Mr DiCriscio said. "It had to be taken out. It just wasn't pretty."

He also advised Ms Jones to change her make-up, replacing the neon colours she once favoured with warm but subtle natural hues that "emphasise the beguiling beauty of her eyes".

All parties to the case are under a gag order from the judge, but aides said Mr Clinton had insisted he could not recall meeting Ms Jones. His testimony was videotaped and may be used as evidence in the sexual-harassment trial, which is expected to go ahead as scheduled on 27 May.

Any possibility of a settlement seemed to disappear last week when Mr Clinton rejected a proposal from Ms Jones to drop the case in exchange for $2m (pounds 1.25m) in damages and a public apology, which she demanded should be made on the White House lawn. She had previously turned down an offer from Mr Clinton of $700,000 and no apology.

The deposition had initially been expected to be heard in the White House, but was moved to the nearby offices of Mr Clinton's lawyer, Robert Bennett, after it emerged that Ms Jones intended to fly out from her home in Los Angeles to witness the President's torment.

The legal pundits who have been saturating the American airwaves in recent days predicted that Ms Jones's lawyers would seek to expand their field of questioning beyond the events that may or may not have taken place in an Arkansas hotel room in 1991, when he was the state governor and she was a low-level secretary employed by the state. The pundits concurred that the President's interrogators would ask him point-blank whether he had ever had a sexual liaison with any Arkansas state employee while governor, or any federal employee during his time as President.

The objective of the lawyers, who have already taken sworn testimony from the President's alleged ex-mistress, Gennifer Flowers, would have been to try to portray Mr Clinton as a goatish serial adulterer who would very plausibly have invited Ms Jones to kiss his erect penis, as she claims in her suit.

It is likely, too, that the lawyers sought to extract some comment from the President for use in court in May as to Ms Jones's claim concerning the so-called "distinguishing characteristics" of his organ. These, she is reported to have said, amount to three; that, erect, it is 5in long, has the circumference of a 25-cent coin and veers off at an unusual angle.

In the light of the keen embarrassment to which even this most thick- skinned of politicians was inevitably subjected, the word from the White House on Friday, that he viewed his ordeal as "a distraction but ... not a burdensome distraction", appears hard to credit. No less an exercise in understatement was the comment from Hillary Clinton's spokeswoman that the First Lady's weekend plans amounted to no more than her usual "personal time".

The feelings experienced by the First Couple's teenage daughter, Chelsea, who was no doubt following events on television at Stanford University, do not bear thinking about.

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Science Teacher required for a lovely Ramsgate Secondary School

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is working in...

SEN Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher loo...

Teacher

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Year 2 Teacher and Group Lead

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week