Monica in new star report

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The Independent Online
THE PROMOTION of Monica Lewinsky as the media property of the moment progressed yesterday when Vanity Fair magazine announced that she had made the magazine's 1998 Hall of Fame.

More importantly, she posed in a vintage flouncy dress for the Vanity Fair photo session, clutching a dyed-pink poodle. Pet-dyeing is all the rage in Hollywood, Ms Lewinsky's home town.

Unlike television companies which are lining up to pay for Ms Lewinsky's story, Vanity Fair got its photoshoot for free.

The successful completion of a deal with Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and ABC in the United States depends on last minute wranglings over exactly what Ms Lewinsky will and will not say in the interview.

"We are prepared to pay the money, but only if she delivers on the key elements of her affair with President [Bill] Clinton," a Channel 4 spokesman said yesterday.

Ms Lewinsky herself is happy to talk about her sexual liaisons in the Oval Office, insiders said, but her lawyers were still unclear about whether she was restricted by the fact that the Starr investigation into President Clinton was still in progress.

Time is short, however, as Ms Lewinsky is desperate to complete a deal before the House Judiciary Committee releases tapes of her conversations with her former friend Linda Tripp, which cover much of the same ground as the interview she wants to sell.

The tapes are expected to be available within a couple of weeks - but no date has been set.

Insiders at Granada television company yesterday conceded that Channel 4 was in the final stages of concluding the deal. Granada is thought to be the only serious rival bidder to Channel 4.

The BBC would dearly like the interview, but a spokesman confirmed that it was not willing to pay for it.

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