Judge clears way for Clinton sex trial
Pressure mounts for out-of-court settlement
Saturday 23 August 1997
The ruling represented a big setback for Mr Clinton, whose top legal team has been working hard behind the scenes to prevent the case coming to court. Yesterday, Judge Webber Wright dismissed a number of the charges brought by Ms Jones, including defamation, but left standing the main charges - of sexual harassment and emotional distress.
The case goes back to May 1991 when, Ms Jones claims, Mr Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, invited her to a room at the Excelsior hotel in Little Rock during a conference where she was working and made unwelcome sexual advances. She accuses Mr Clinton of dropping his trousers and asking her to perform oral sex. When she refused, saying "I'm not that sort of girl", she says, Mr Clinton let her go and asked her not to talk about it.
The episode came to light in an anti-Clinton article published in 1994 in the right-wing American Spectator magazine. Ms Jones, who had by then married and moved to California where she now lives, says that her attention was drawn to the article by friends in Arkansas who asked whether she was the Paula mentioned in the article.
The fact, her lawyer says, that friends recognised her (although her first name was the only identification) persuaded her that she should sue. Supporters of the Clinton camp argue that Ms Jones brought the case only after Mr Clinton had become president, had backing from the extreme- right and is hoping for a large sum in damages.
After failing to reach an out-of-court settlement with Ms Jones two years ago, Mr Clinton had tried - through his lawyer, Robert Bennett - to have any legal proceedings deferred until after his presidency on the grounds that his duties required him to be exempt from extraneous distractions like lawsuits. The case went to the Supreme Court, which found against the President earlier this year.
Since then, renewed aspersions were on Ms Jones' veracity and her motives in what appeared to be an orchestrated campaign to discredit her. Yesterday, however, the Arkansas judge found that Mr Clinton had a case to answer and ruled that the lawyers could proceed to take pre-trial evidence from witnesses.
Yesterday's ruling appears to put further pressure on Mr Clinton to settle out of court - a course recommended by many in the Clinton camp immediately after the Supreme Court judgment. However Mr Bennett reiterated that Mr Clinton would not agree to any settlement that entailed an apology and that the terms would have to exclude any admission of wrong-doing.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a number ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Coordinator is required to join a...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A dynamic, customer oriented Pr...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an inbound relationship...