School sweetheart lingers

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The Independent Online
WHILE THE White House sex scandal has vanished from the Washington map almost as rapidly as it arrived 13 months ago, some of the associated allegations - the use of dirty tricks against troublesome women, for instance - have lingered.

Making a rare appearance in Washington yesterday was Dolly Kyle Browning, Bill Clinton's Arkansas school sweetheart, who claims the Clinton camp sought to "disparage, defame and destroy her reputation" when she tried to publish an expose of what she said was a long-term relationship between them.

Ms Kyle Browning, a property lawyer living in Texas, wrote a book, Purposes of the Heart, which recounts a woman's affair with a southern governor. The book, however, found no publisher and she and her husband published it privately last year, complaining that "Clinton, his agents and surrogates" did their utmost to stop it appearing.

The case was taken up by a watchdog organisation, Judicial Watch, which served preliminary papers last year and gave Mr Clinton until 27 July to respond or face civil action.

Mr Clinton and Ms Kyle Browning have given different accounts of a meeting they had in 1994 at their school reunion. She says Mr Clinton apologised to her, suggested she come to Washington and offered to find her a job. Mr Clinton said during his testimony in the Paula Jones case that she acknowledged that the account in her book was untrue, but said she needed the money. His account was corroborated by a member of his staff, Marsha Scott, whom Mr Clinton had asked to remain within earshot to protect himself.