DNA tests clear Clinton of fathering boy, 13

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HE MAY be the first president this century to be impeached, but there was some good news for Bill Clinton yesterday, with reports that he was not after all the father of an illegitimate boy in his home state of Arkansas.

In an article headed "Scandal Interruptus", Time magazine's Internet website reported that DNA tests on the boy, Danny Williams, 13, and his mother, Bobbie Ann, had shown no match with Mr Clinton. "There was no match. Not even close," Time quoted a source at the tabloid weekly, the Star, that commissioned the tests. The weekly was reported to have paid Ms Williams and her son to take the tests, intending to compare the results with the information about Mr Clinton's DNA contained in the report of the independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

The editor of the tabloid, Phil Bunton, had said that he would publish only if the test showed that Mr Clinton could be the father. But news of the investigation leaked out before the results were ready, reviving rumours that had circulated in Arkansas for years and clogging radio phone- in lines with callers wanting to have their say.

Bobbie Ann Williams, who is black, was said to have told her mixed-race son ever since he was born that Bill Clinton was his father. She says that she was working as a prostitute when her son was conceived and that Mr Clinton was her only white customer that month. However, she never instituted a paternity suit.