Kathleen Willey was testifying for the prosecution in the only criminal case to have been brought following the White House sex scandal for which Mr Clinton was impeached.
Ms Willey's former friend, Julie Hiatt Steele, is accused of obstructing the course of justice. The prosecution charges that she lied under oath when she denied that Ms Willey had told her of Mr Clinton's approach. Ms Steele had initially confirmed Ms Willey's story to a Newsweek reporter, but subsequently claimed that she had lied to help her friend and knew nothing of any incident at the White House. She stuck to her denial throughout the independent prosecutor's investigation of Mr Clinton for lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Ms Willey's court appearance yesterday was her second public account of the alleged incident. She had given a slightly less graphic account in a television interview last year when the media hue and cry about the Lewinsky affair was at its height. Ms Willey's story was subsequently challenged by the White House, which produced letters showing that Ms Willey remained on apparently friendly terms with the President, and by Ms Steele, in a series of media interviews. At the heart of the case is the suspicion that Ms Steele may have been subjected to White House pressure to change her story.Reuse content