Woman Says Bill Clinton Sexually Assaulted Her in 1980s

Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, celebrate his victory in the Democratic runoff for Arkansas Governor on June 8, 1982 in Little Rock, Ark. Clinton defeated former Lt. Gov. Joe Purcell.

Former TV reporter says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1980s – CBS News

We’ll probably never know for certain, especially with something that took place all those years ago. And maybe new evidence will emerge which changes things. But her story sounds credible to me, and I believe her.

Does this matter for this presidential election? No. Hillary Clinton is not responsible for Bill Clinton’s alleged crimes and misdeeds. And, as I’ve just argued, policy really matters much more than character when voting for a President; that’s even more true when it’s not even the candidate’s character being discussed, but that of her spouse.

But Hillary Clinton has suggested that she’d put her husband in a position with real policy power. (”My husband, who I’m going to put in charge of revitalizing the economy…”) I really question if anyone who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults (including rape) is a good choice for any such position. Even without a guilty verdict, if such a person weren’t the candidate’s husband, wouldn’t a Hillary Clinton administration keep their distance?

If these and other allegations (especially Juanita Broaddrick’s) are true, then Bill Clinton is a criminal and deserves to be punished like one. That won’t happen. But he should at least no longer be a public servant.

This entry posted in Elections and politics, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

24 Responses to Woman Says Bill Clinton Sexually Assaulted Her in 1980s

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    Hillary Clinton is not responsible for Bill Clinton’s alleged crimes and misdeeds.

    But is she guilty of enabling them? There have been multiple allegations that she has attempted to protect her husband from his accusers by attacking their characters, credibility, etc.

  2. 2
    Ruchama says:

    Examples? The only one I know about is Juanita Broaddrick, who said that HRC said something to her like, “We really appreciate all you’ve done for the governor,” but from the tone of her voice and the expression on her face, she “knew” that what HRC really meant was “If you tell anyone, we’ll destroy you.” And I really didn’t find that all that credible, as far as knowing what she actually meant in that moment.

  3. 3
    Jameson Quinn says:

    I largely believe this charge and that of Broaddrick.

    I also honestly think that the chances of Bill Clinton committing this type of crime again are very low. Even if he hasn’t matured (which I think he probably has), he at least knows that he would be caught.

    If there is enough evidence to convict, he should be convicted, and he should do symbolic time. Given the low chance of repetition, I think that 3 months would be enough. (Even if he’d committed multiple murders, as long as he wasn’t a danger to do so again, I wouldn’t want him locked up for more than 1 year. I’m arguing here for some kind of soft statute of limitations, where you don’t get away unpunished but the punishment is reduced by time. The only crimes I wouldn’t apply this to are things like genocide.)

  4. 4
    hf says:

    You are ignoring context in an utterly ludicrous way. Ken Starr, to focus on one example, hunted for any charge he could bring against Bill Clinton, going far beyond his original case and then deliberately causing a ‘crime’ he could bring to Congress. Starr neither censored himself nor chose to drop a charge that he knew would ultimately accomplish nothing (legally speaking; obviously he accomplished a media circus.) Yet he didn’t try to make a case of this. He had time to dig up a dress, but either he didn’t look for more accusers like this one or else what he found make him think it was useless to go farther.

    That is not a normal situation. Normal rules of thumb do not apply.

    Juanita Broderick gave a sworn statement that the “allegation” never happened. She changed this story only after Starr gave her immunity. Now, that still isn’t conclusive. Maybe she feared retaliation if she talked (though I see no retaliation or lawsuits brought against those who spread more obviously false or libelous conspiracy theories, and I think the “Clinton murder list” has been on the same website for around twenty years). Maybe she thought Hillary Clinton threatened her. Maybe Ken Starr has a mental block which prevents him from investigating rape accusations. Maybe the entire right-wing media decided time and again that there was no point to looking for more accusers (preferring to double down on their 24-hour Benghazi programming, or bring on Gennifer Flowers to repeat the Clinton murder conspiracy theory if you want to go back to 1999), or some other factor prevented this from showing up earlier.

    But in the hypothetical world where both Clintons are innocent of everything – yet people looked for any possible smear to throw against them, in the way that we already know happened – a world where the press hated Bill Clinton and anyone who was connected with him, in the way that we already know happened – we would expect to see some accusations you couldn’t easily dismiss along with many obvious falsehoods. That’s how FUD works. How would that world look any different from the one we live in?

  5. 5
    Sebastian H says:

    Hf, there seems to be a context you are overlooking: Clinton’s repeated use of denials in the media despite knowing the truth of the matter.

    You allude to the clearest example: Lewinsky. Bill Clinton categorically denied ever having any sexual relations with her while insinuating that she was a star struck lunatic, and Hillary had her friends and staff spread similar lies about Lewinsky.

    But she wasn’t a star struck lunatic. She was telling the truth.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    I’m not sure what conclusion you’re asking us to draw from that, Sebastian. Can you make it more explicit what point you’re trying to make?

  7. 7
    Jane Doh says:

    I think Bill Clinton is a slime. He probably committed sexual assault and got away with it. I also think he was a decent president. Certainly better than either of the Bushes that surrounded him. Even so, Bill Clinton’s slimy-ness or his crimes still have nothing to do with Hillary. She didn’t sexually assault anyone (as far as I know).

    I don’t think it unreasonable for a person to publicly defend their spouse, even denying accusations that might be reasonable and/or backing up the story their spouse is telling in public. It certainly isn’t a crime. Especially in a case like the Clintons, who were hounded with loads of false crap for years by the time the Lewinsky thing occurred.

    It is an unfortunate truth that accusing someone of sexual assault or harassment usually rebounds on the accuser in some way, up to and including ruining their lives. Of the many people I know who have personally told me about their assaults, not a single one has reported it, and I don’t blame them. That;s why I don’t find recent accusations of old assaults unreasonable.

  8. 8
    hf says:

    Normally a rape accusation gives us a great deal of evidence. Normally the accuser gets shame and misery rather than a conservative gravy train. This is not a normal situation.

  9. 9
    Jameson Quinn says:

    This is indeed an unusual situation, as there are more plausible reasons for people to falsely accuse Clinton than if he was not a public figure. But still, Broaddrick’s story, including the witnesses who claim she said it at the time, is plausible to me. There are reasons that, even if honest, she would have balked at making a deposition without immunity. If I were on a jury I wouldn’t convict Clinton, but if I had to give odds I’d guess it’s about 2:1 that he’s guilty.

    And if he is? Ideally, if there were enough evidence to convict, he should face justice. But I really don’t think he’s any risk of repeating these crimes today, so the value of any punishment would be largely symbolic; minimal jail time would be plenty.

  10. 10
    kate says:

    Sebastian @5 – Isn’t it possible that Hillary believed Bill’s lies about Lewinsky. What makes you think she knew the truth before the rest of us?

  11. 11
    Sebastian_h says:

    Kate, at the very least she knew that Bill’s tendencies before the rest of us. She may not have known to a “there is semen on a dress” level of certainty that Bill had sex with this particular intern but she certainly knew that Bill had a long history of exactly those type of encounters. Knowing that, it was certainly in reckless disregard of the truth for her to have her associates push the idea that Lewinsky was a crazy, lying, slut.

    And that is pretty much the best case scenario in terms of culpability for Hillary.

  12. 12
    Kate says:

    I think you’re really overstating your case, Sebastian. Women, particularly Christian women, are trained to forgive, forget and stand by their husbands. According to the religion she was raised in, she did exactly what she was supposed to do. Now, you can argue that she should have been living according to a more secular moral system. But, that’s not the angle that most Hillary haters are arguing.

  13. 13
    Sebastian_h says:

    By the time we got to Lewinsky, we were well into decades of Hillary knowing what was going on. Forgiving is a fine tradition. Trying to set some one who is telling the truth (or whose story is perfectly in line with what you know your husband has previously done) up as an insane slutty lying stalker is a totally different thing. And there is no evidence that she is particularly religious so that is a weird angle to take with her.

  14. 14
    Mandolin says:

    Women, particularly Christian women

    Particularly Christian women. But also women in general. She’s both, so even if she’s not as religious as would satisfy your criteria for this, she’s still in a demographic urged to bear through, with a nudge toward it being more true for her than for secular women. Norms for women her age, of course, are/were also different than they would be for me.

  15. 15
    Sebastian H says:

    Yes, again bearing through is different from a very powerful person trying to assassinate someone’s character when they already know that their husband has done many similar things.

    I’m not faulting her for trying to ‘bear through it’. My Mom tried to bear through it for way too long, but I understand where she’s coming from. Hillary was not just trying to bear through it. She was trying to make sure that a woman with much less power than her got squished for telling the truth.

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:


    By the time we got to Lewinsky, we were well into decades of Hillary knowing what was going on. Forgiving is a fine tradition. Trying to set some one who is telling the truth (or whose story is perfectly in line with what you know your husband has previously done) up as an insane slutty lying stalker is a totally different thing.

    What specific actions of HRC’s are you referring to here?

    Looking around, I find that HRC’s story is that at first she believed BC’s denials, and that doesn’t seem impossible to me.

    She also referred to Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony tune” in a private conversation with a friend, according to that friend’s notes. To me, being mean about a woman who your husband cheated with, in private conversation, seems entirely understandable, and it certainly falls short of what you claim here.

  17. 17
    Sebastian H says:

    Hillary and Sidney Blumenthal were in charge of the squad that was supposed to keep the ‘bimbo eruptions’ under control BEFORE the existence of Monica Lewinsky came to light. The fact that she was involved in trying to control ‘bimbo eruptions’ (her term used internally) means that she knew what was going on because she was helping plan the public and private response.

    In the affidavit, dated February 5, Hitchens described a March 19 lunch with Blumenthal and Hitchens’ associate, Carol Blue.

    “Mr. Blumenthal stated that Monica Lewinsky had been a ‘stalker’ and that the president was ‘the victim’ of a predatory and unstable sexually demanding young woman,” Hitchens statement reads. “Referring to Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Blumenthal used the word ‘stalker’ several times.”

    It is *theoretically* possible that Blumenthal somehow went against the advice of the other major personality charged with dealing with Bill’s constantly erupting bimbo problem–Hillary. But it doesn’t seem likely. Especially considering that his language was similar to what Blair quotes Hillary as using.

    Remember that Hitchens was considered very left wing until this incident and his late Iraq support (though it was precisely the same as Clinton’s support for the Iraq war so maybe it shouldn’t be as discrediting as all that).

    See Blumenthal’s close work on Whitewater and the shady dealings with the press on both his part and Hillary’s.

    Consider one small example: Blumenthal’s effort to extricate himself and Hillary Clinton from a clumsy attempt to build a White House dossier on Susan Schmidt, the Washington Post’s most aggressive reporter on Whitewater. Blumenthal’s role in this vaguely Nixonian exercise was first reported five years ago in a story by the Post’s media reporter, Howard Kurtz. When Michael McCurry, who was then press secretary, learned of the project, he proclaimed it “crazy” and killed it. Instead of admitting his involvement, Blumenthal pretends that he was a passive party. After hearing “constant complaints” about Schmidt’s reporting from White House legal aides, he writes, he suggested they “should present the facts to the Post to correct any errors. Beyond that, I never knew about a study of Schmidt’s reporting. I asked Hillary Clinton, and she had no memory of anything either.”

    But others do remember—quite differently, as it turns out. Mark Fabiani, the White House lawyer who ran the counsel offices’ “damage control” team, said he recalls getting a phone call from Blumenthal strongly urging him to do a report on Schmidt. When Fabiani didn’t follow up, he then got a call from Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff instructing him to get moving on the job. This led to the preparation of a lengthy dossier (one that did little to effectively discredit Schmidt, according to Fabiani) and a series of meetings—including one with Hillary Clinton—about what to do with it. The White House lawyers knew exactly what had happened, says Fabiani. “We all laughed about it. We knew [Blumenthal] had called Hillary and told Hillary this should be done. … He was sort of the brooding, omnipresence over the whole thing.”

    That by Michael Isikoff who wrote quite a bit about the Abu Ghraib abuse stories.

    “Remember Vernon Jordan’s phone call to Revlon to get Lewinsky a job—made just days after Clinton’s lawyers learned that Lewinsky was on a witness list in the Paula Jones case? ”

    Actually I had forgotten about that. Why would you work to get Lewinsky a job at that point if there wasn’t any chance her story was true?

    BTW, is there any easy way to avoid recent news stories when googling? Having to wade through Trump’s trash anytime you want to look up old reporting on Clinton is irritating.

  18. 18
    kate says:

    Sebastian @17
    All of the really nasty comments you and others cite here – “narcissistic loonytoon” “bimbo eruptions” were private comments, not meant for public eyes. People should be able to say things in private that would be inappropriate in public.
    My understanding was that Lewinsky did initiate the inappropriate relationship with Clinton (lifting her skirt & flashing her thong as she left the oval office); and that she did “stalk” him, waiting for hours to be at the front during various public appearances to get the chance to see him (the State of the Union was one example). Bill should not have accepted her advances, and the power balance between them was such that it is unfair to call her a predator and/or him a victim. But, my understanding was the Bill did not prey on Lewinsky. He merely accepted what he should have declined.
    Now, that’s not the case with some other women. But, did Bill admit to those? I don’t think he did. So, nothing that you posted proves that Clinton knew these women were telling the truth. She might have believed Bill’s denials. Sexual predators often do not behave the same way with their wives as they do with other women. This makes it seem unbelievable when someone accuses one’s loving husband of sexual assault. Bill Clinton, in particular, is notorious for his charisma and charm. Hillary clearly wasn’t immune to it – she married him. And, again, there’s strong social pressure for women, particularly women of Hillary’s generation, to believe their husbands and stand by them. Saying someone is lying, when you really believe that they are lying, is not character assassination.

  19. 19
    Jake Squid says:

    As far as I know, Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton are different people. I see a lot of evidence about things Blumenthal did in Sebastian H’s comment but very little evidence about things Clinton did.

  20. 20
    Sebastian H says:

    Let’s take a step back and talk about how administrations work. (Please note that I normally talk about public figures by their last name, but since both Bill and Hillary Clinton are involved I’m referring to them by their first names.)

    The Bush administration was pushing the Iraq War with what we now know to be lies regarding (among other things) the idea that Saddam was getting uranium from the Niger. Joseph Wilson was sent to investigate the claim. After investigation he publicly expressed doubt about it. The Bush Administration saw this as a big challenge to their efforts, and among many other things had Scooter Libby leak the fact that Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame was s a CIA operative in an effort to discredit him.

    The proof we have only pertains to Libby leaking the information. But we know that operatives like Libby don’t regularly go off and leak stuff like that except as part of a coordinated campaign to influence the media. Libby didn’t just leak the information. He did so because people higher up the chain–almost certainly Cheney or Wolfowitz, told him to as part of a wide ranging effort to unfairly discredit people the administration thought were threats.

    We know that Hillary ran a very tight ship even as far back as Bill’s time in Arkansas especially with respect to public messaging.

    We know from even friendly reports that Hillary is a bit of a micro-manager.

    We know that Hillary put herself in charge of dealing with what she called ‘bimbo eruptions’.

    We know that Sidney Blumenthal worked closely with Hillary on managing the ‘bimbo eruptions’.

    We know that by the time Lewinsky came to the public eye, there already been dozens of ‘bimbo eruptions’ to be managed over more than a decade.

    Immediately after Lewinsky first came to the administration’s attention ( when she was named as a potential witness in the Jones’ lawsuit) Vernon Jordan personally arranged an internship for her, despite the fact that her reviews were mediocre to poor.

    We know that Sidney Blumenthal was the source for the leaks to the media suggesting that Lewinsky was a liar, a stalker and a sexually unstable woman.

    We know that he lied to Congress about that fact.

    As far as I know, all of those facts are completely undisputed in 2016. (Some were disputed when they first became known, but all have shown out). Please note that I don’t include things that have disputed outcomes like the Kathleen Willey stuff.

    So under the same chain of logic by which we understand that Libby didn’t spontaneously leak Plame’s status, we understand that Blumenthal didn’t spontaneously leak garbage about Lewinsky.

    Since we know that Hillary was in charge of managing the bimbo eruptions, it is pretty darn clear that she was part of that.

    Clear enough to get a conviction on the beyond any reasonable doubt standard? No. But a whole lot clearer than a vast trove of political facts that we accept every day.

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    We know that Hillary put herself in charge of dealing with what she called ‘bimbo eruptions’.

    No. Betsey Wright, an aide to the Clintons, coined this term; there is no evidence of Hillary ever having used it herself.

    We know that by the time Lewinsky came to the public eye, there already been dozens of ‘bimbo eruptions’ to be managed over more than a decade.

    No, we do not know that. “Dozens?” What are you even talking about.

  22. 22
    Sebastian H says:

    I can’t find the story about the origin of the bimbo eruption term. You might be right.

    Do you dispute that Hillary Clinton was in charge of the bimbo eruption team? A dispute about that would undercut the argument in my comment. A dispute about the origin of the term strikes me as not worth me spending google time on.

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    The fact-checkers seem to mostly disagree with Sebastian:

    Reality Check: Did Hillary Clinton attack her husband’s accusers? – CNNPolitics.com

    Pro-Trump group’s ad misrepresents Hillary Clinton’s comments about women – The Washington Post

    Trump says Clinton viciously attacked those who charged abuse by Bill | PolitiFact

    The PolitiFact article comes the closest to having evidence supporting your (Sebastian) claims. Here’s the most relevant part:

    Long-time Washington journalist Carl Bernstein wrote in his biography of Hillary Clinton A Woman in Charge that in the 1992 campaign Hillary Clinton directed a special “defense team” to deal with allegations about “Bill’s history with the Selective Service System, women claiming to have had affairs with him, and other personal aspects of the Clintons’ lives.”

    One aide was sent to Little Rock, Ark., to dig for facts about the most worrying revelation from Gennifer Flowers, a woman who claimed to have had a long affair with Bill Clinton. The campaign hired a detective to look into the backgrounds of any women who had come forward.

    The Trump campaign pointed to a New York Times article that described the work of that detective. The newspaper reported that in a memo, the detective said he would impugn Flowers’ “character and veracity until she is destroyed beyond all recognition.”

    Importantly, however, while Flowers claimed she had an affair with Bill Clinton, she did not claim she was abused.

    In a 1992 interview, Clinton herself called Flowers “some failed cabaret singer who doesn’t even have much of resume to fall back on.” And on another occasion, she said if she had the chance to cross-examine Flowers, she “would crucify her.”

    But the same New York Times article quotes a statement provided earlier this month by the Hillary Clinton campaign from James Carville, the 1992 campaign’s top strategist.

    “Hillary wanted us to defend the governor against attacks,” the statement said. “It’s just ridiculous to imagine that she was somehow directing our response operation. That was my job, not hers.”

    So one journalist claimed that Hillary directed a response team during the 1992 election – but Carville denies it. And this was years before the Lewinsky scandal. I haven’t been able to find any evidence that Hillary Clinton was in charge of any such thing during the Lewinsky scandal.

    Also, Sebastian, you keep on referring to it as “bimbo eruptions” in a way that implies that’s what Hillary was calling them. If you don’t have any evidence for that, then it’s a bit misleading.

  24. 24
    Sebastian H says:

    According to Carl Bernstein’s “A Woman in Charge”, which is by all accounts a pretty friendly biography, she had direct control of the campaign to discredit Gennifer Flowers and was deeply involved in the Paula Jones case of which the Lewinsky issue was a side branch.

    I’m happy to not use the term ‘bimbo eruptions’. Hillary was clearly aware of the very numerous instances where women claimed to have engaged in sex with Bill, including a few cases where they claimed coercion or assault.

    There is an interesting commentary on the dynamic of Bill Clinton and his staff which plausibly could describe Hillary on the issue from the NYT Book Review regarding Stephanopoulus:

    ”A dynamic had already started,” he writes of the fallout from the Gennifer Flowers episode, ”that would repeat itself many times in the years ahead — one explained well by Reinhold Niebuhr. ‘Frantic orthodoxy,’ he wrote, ‘is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure.’ I now had doubts about Clinton, had seen his flaws up close, which caused me to focus even more intently on his strengths and believe even more fervently in his ideas.”

    How can Mr. Stephanopoulos reconcile his willingness at the time to spin the Gennifer Flowers story with his current anger over the Monica Lewinsky affair? ”I didn’t think I was a hypocrite,” he writes, ”because my defense of Clinton against past bimbo eruptions had been predicated on my belief that he wouldn’t create new ones, but maybe I was complicit because when I worked for Clinton I had been willing to suspend my disbelief about some of his more suspect denials.

    I think that is a dynamic that happens alot with someone you want to believe. It also happens alot with in group/out group analysis–we tend to believe denials from people in our in group while being suspicious of them on similar evidence from our out group.

    Regarding the original post’s point on the plausibility of the current accusations against Bill, in looking some of this up, I ran into a Washington Post report about the Clinton strategy to attack the Jones case. It is rather jarring.

    Piece by piece, President Clinton’s top-dollar legal team has taken apart the life of Paula Jones, examining topics from her job history to her possible sex partners. They turned up a check she bounced when reimbursing the Arkansas government for personal calls made on state phones. They found previous employers who fired her for tardiness or other reasons. They scoured personnel records and discovered she typed only 24 words per minute and scored 121 out of 174 on an Arkansas state clerical examination.

    Venturing into more salacious territory, they interviewed as many as a half-dozen men who claimed to have had sex with her, including some who said they met her casually at parties or bars and then engaged in quick encounters, according to people close to the case. One former boss signed an affidavit alleging that she pursued him at work and that they slept together. After their short-lived relationship ended, he fired her — in part, he said, because she dressed too provocatively.

    Because if you want to have sex with one man at one job, you couldn’t possibly have said no to any other man at any job, right?