Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment, Sues Clinton

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment, Sues Clinton

Article excerpt

PAULA CORBIN JONES, a former Arkansas state worker, filed a sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton on Friday in U.S. District Court.

The suit alleges that Clinton made an unwanted sexual advance to Jones in 1991 while he was governor, violating her civil rights.

Robert Bennett, Clinton's attorney, denounced the suit as "tabloid trash with a legal caption on it." He said Clinton denied the charge and did not recall even meeting the woman.

When asked about the suit, Clinton said: "I'm not going to dignify this by commenting on it. . . . I'm going back to work."

Jones is seeking $700,000 in damages from Clinton for what she calls "willful, outrageous and malicious conduct" at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock in May 1991. Her court papers accuse Clinton of "sexually harassing and assaulting" her, and then defaming her with denials.

Jones, 27, now a resident of California, said that after paying the costs of the litigation, she would donate any damages she might win to an unspecified charity in Little Rock.

She did not appear Friday at the courthouse. But in a statement read by her attorney, she said: "This case is not about money. This case is about character and integrity. This case is about the powerful taking advantage of the weak."

Bennett said in a news conference in Washington: "This is about money and book contracts and radio and television appearances. That will all become very clear before this litigation is over." He said Clinton had rejected a previous effort to settle the complaint for money.

The suit seeks damages on four counts:

Deprivation of civil rights.

Conspiracy to deprive Jones of civil rights.

"Intentional infliction" of emotional distress.

Defamation.

Jones alleges that on May 8, 1991, she was working for the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission at a trade fair when she was summoned to a hotel room by a state trooper, Danny Ferguson, who she said was acting in Clinton's behalf. …

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