Clinton would testify, but not show his body

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The Independent Online
In the latest remarkable episode of the continuing soap opera that is the Clinton presidency, Bill Clinton's lawyer said yesterday that his client would not apologise to Paula Jones for alleged sexual harassment. Mr Clinton, he said, was prepared to go to court - but not take off his clothes - to defend himself.

A lawyer for Ms Jones confirmed that copies of an affidavit she had signed describing what she says are "distinguishing characteristics" of the President's "genital area", had been stored in different locations for safekeeping. Mr Clinton's lawyer, Robert Bennett, said that he would not allow his client to be "humiliated" by a medical examination.

As if this were not enough, there was also a report that Gennifer Flowers, the woman named during the 1992 presidential election campaign as Mr Clinton's long-time mistress, had offered to testify on behalf of Ms Jones.

Ms Jones's charge is that Mr Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, made unwanted sexual advances to her at a hotel in the state capital, Little Rock, six years ago. Yesterday's raising of the stakes followed last week's decision by the Supreme Court to reject Mr Clinton's plea for the case to be delayed until he had left office.

The statements were made by lawyers for the two parties on yesterday's television talkshows. Mr Bennett, for the President, said there were three conditions for any settlement. "One, the President of the United States will not apologise for something he never did. Two, he will not admit to conduct that did not occur for the sake of getting this behind him, and three, any resolution would have to be one that did not allow the interpretation that he must have done what is alleged in the complaint." However, he stopped short of excluding a financial settlement.

Joseph Cammarata, for Ms Jones, was coy about whether the restoration of her good name was all that his client was seeking, or whether she now required a financial settlement as well. He said that to charges that she had been a willing participant in whatever went on in Little Rock were now added the accusation that she had lied about it. Any settlement, he intimated, would have to be very substantial indeed.