I slept with Clinton, says beauty queen

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The Independent Online
MORE trouble loomed for President Bill Clinton yesterday after a former Miss America, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, told a New York tabloid that she had had sex with him in 1982 when they were both married and he was governor of Arkansas. While she absolved Mr Clinton of behaving improperly towards her in any way, her admission added to the impression that the whole truth about his conduct has not been told. The only extra- marital sexual relationship he has admitted to under oath was with the former Arkansas nightclub singer, Gennifer Flowers.

Ms Gracen told the Daily News the encounter with Mr Clinton was "a very bad error in judgement" on her part, but it had been consensual. She was responding to a claim by a former friend of hers, given in sworn evidence to the Paula Jones sexual harassment investigation, that she had confided tearfully about a forced sexual encounter with Mr Clinton.

Despite being summoned to testify in the Paula Jones case, Ms Gracen stayed abroad during the pre-trial hearing and denied any involvement with Mr Clinton. However, she could be summonsed to appear when the case comes to court next month. Ms Jones is suing Mr Clinton for sexual harassment, alleging that he made an unwelcome sexual advance in an Arkansas hotel room in 1991. Ms Jones's lawyers say that they want to introduce testimony from half a dozen or more women to show a "pattern of behaviour" by Mr Clinton over many years.

Mr Clinton's lawyers have petitioned the judge to apply sanctions against Ms Jones's team for contempt, saying the release at the weekend of details of a 20-year-old "unsubstantiated third-party rape accusation" against Mr Clinton breached a confidentiality order imposed last year.