Monica's father attacks `horrors' of court case

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The Independent Online
The father of Monica Lewinsky, the former White House trainee alleged to have had a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton, has broken his silence with a bitter tirade against her treatment by the judicial authorities, comparing it to the McCarthy interrogations and the Inquisition.

Dr Bernard Lewinsky, a cancer specialist whose California home provided his daughter with brief respite from the Washington media circus two weeks ago, said he felt it was time to "speak up about the horrors that she has gone through and continues to go through".

In a television interview with ABC television's Barbara Walters, to be broadcast last night - but, like so much in this case, heavily leaked - Dr Lewinsky reserved special venom for Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor overseeing the case.

He should "lay off", he said. "I think he's totally out of control. My daughter has not done anything from the federal point of view. She's not a murderer. She's not a spy. There was an alleged involvement in a civil case.

"What is going on, and what Ken Starr has brought upon her, is unconscionable, to my mind. To pit a mother against her daughter, to coerce her to talk - to me, it's reminiscent of the McCarthy era, of the Inquisition, and even, you know, you could stretch it and say the Hitler era. It's awful. I can't believe it's happening."

Dr Lewinsky defended his daughter's truthfulness, saying that although she might be "very excitable" and might occasionally exaggerate, she would not have lied about her relations with the President. Asked "Do you think your daughter could have made up a whole relationship with the President that didn't exist?", he replied "I can't imagine her making that up."

Mr Clinton has vehemently denied the allegations of a relationship, but has yet to explain Ms Lewinsky's frequent private visits to the White House or the help she got in finding a job from presidential pal Vernon Jordan, a high-powered Washington lawyer.

Both Monica Lewinsky's parents, who divorced when she was in her teens, are now caught up in their daughter's problems. Her mother, Marcia Lewis - who shared her Washington flat and, it is said, personal confidences, with her daughter - spent three days last week giving evidence to the investigation and has still to complete her testimony. She was allowed to leave the stand after suffering an emotional seizure.

Dr Lewinsky also express anger at Mr Starr's subpoena of Ms Lewis, his former wife. "To pit a mother against her daughter, to coerce her to talk ... To me, it's reminiscent of the McCarthy era, of the Inquisition, and even, you know you could stretch it and say the Hitler era," he said.

Meanwhile, new leaks from tape-recorded conversations between Ms Lewinsky and her colleague Linda Tripp - the tapes that offered the first evidence of a relationship between Ms Lewinsky and the President - had Ms Lewinsky supposedly boasting of having "stolen" a timetable for one of Mr Clinton's foreign visits from the desk of her boss in the Pentagon.

This provoked an angry response from Ms Lewinsky's lawyer, William Ginsburg, who said selective leaking was damaging his client's case.