Lawsuit filed against Clinton in sex case

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton was sued yesterday in Little Rock by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, who says that he tried to force her to have sex with him three years ago when he was governor.

Amid scenes of confusion outside the courthouse in Little Rock, Ms Jones, 27, finally filed suit demanding dollars 750,000 ( pounds 500,000) and an apology from Mr Clinton and Danny Ferguson, an Arkansas state trooper. She alleges that it was Mr Ferguson who asked her to go to Mr Clinton's hotel room.

The White House started its counter-attack immediately yesterday when Mr Clinton's private attorney held a news conference to discredit Ms Jones as motivated by greed and spurred on by Mr Clinton's conservative enemies.

The 20-page document filed in the court gives graphic details of how Mr Clinton is alleged to have propositioned Ms Jones on 8 May 1991. Whatever the outcome of the case, it is likely to reinforce the President's reputation as a womaniser with gross tastes.

Earlier Ms Jones's motives - though not her story - were questioned by her own sister, Charlotte Brown, on Little Rock television. She said that Ms Jones had told her about the incident with Mr Clinton at the Excelsior hotel soon after it happened but appeared 'thrilled' rather than distressed by what had happened.

Mrs Brown says that just before a news conference in Washington earlier this year at which Ms Jones first made her allegations public, her sister said to her: 'Whichever way it went, it smelled (sic) money.'

In a statement yesterday Ms Jones was at pains to deny that her motive was financial, saying that she and her husband would donate any proceeds from the case to a Little Rock charity.

Mystery still surrounds the delay in filing suit on Thursday. This may have been connected with Ms Jones getting a new lawyer but the right-wing Washington Times, usually well informed about moves by Mr Clinton's detractors, said the delay was because of negotiations over a possible settlement.

In an attempt to discredit Ms Jones's allegations before they were carried by the evening television news, Robert Bennett, Mr Clinton's lawyer, said the suit was to do with 'tabloid trash, money, book contracts and television shows'. Ms Jones had said earlier that the case was 'about the powerful taking advantage of the weak'.

Mr Bennet said: 'We absolutely deny this incident occurred.' He said Mr Clinton would never pay Ms Jones money or issue an apology. Portraying her as the creature of extreme conservatives he said: 'To some extent this woman is being used . . . I feel sorry for her.' He noted that she had promised to donate any profits from the trial to charity but not money from television or movie deals.

Her lawyer, Gilbert Davis, speaking on the Little Rock court house steps, piously asked yesterday that the case be 'tried in (a) courtroom and not in the media'. In practice, however, both sides are following the precedents set by the Michael Jackson and Lorena Bob bitt trials, in which every detail of sexual behaviour was revealed.

Mr Clinton says the allegations are wholly untrue and he has no memory of meeting Ms Jones though admits he may have done so at a political event. She does, however, have supporting witnesses who say that she did see the Arkansas governor on 8 May 1991 and that she told her friends immediately - and some months before he announced his candidacy for the presidency - that Mr Clinton had propositioned her.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Project Manager / IT Project Manager

£50 - £60 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Project Manager / IT Project Ma...

Tradewind Recruitment: Permanent Class Teachers Required for 2015/2016 - Suffolk

£21000 - £50000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teachers seeking perma...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 5 Teacher Required For 2015/16 - Chelmsford

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: A popular, 'Good' school loc...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teachers Required in Norwich and Great Yarmouth

£20000 - £45000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am working on behalf of a ...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food