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Narrative Pt. VII: Termination of Sexual Relationship

From independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report to the House on President Clinton. Some of the language in these documents is sexually explicit.

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VII. May 1997: Termination of Sexual Relationship

In May 1997, amid indications that Ms. Lewinsky had been indiscreet, President Clinton terminated the sexual relationship.

A. Questions about Ms. Lewinsky's Discretion

In April or May 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President asked if she had told her mother about their intimate relationship. She responded: "No. Of course not."(465) (In truth, she had told her mother.(466)) The President indicated that Ms. Lewinsky's mother possibly had said something about the nature of the relationship to Walter Kaye, who had mentioned it to Marsha Scott, who in turn had alerted the President.(467)

   


Corroborating Ms. Lewinsky's account, Mr. Kaye testified that he told Ms. Lewinsky's aunt, Debra Finerman, that he understood that "her niece was very aggressive," a remark that angered Ms. Finerman. Ms. Finerman told Mr. Kaye that the President was the true aggressor: He was telephoning Ms. Lewinsky late at night. Ms. Finerman, in Mr. Kaye's recollection, attributed this information to Marcia Lewis, Ms. Lewinsky's mother (and Ms. Finerman's sister). Mr. Kaye -- who had disbelieved stories he had heard from Democratic National Committee people about an affair between Ms. Lewinsky and the President -- testified that he was "shocked" to hear of the late-night phone calls.(468)

B. May 24: Break-up

On Saturday, May 24, 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President ended their intimate relationship. Ms. Lewinsky was at the White House that day from 12:21 to 1:54 p.m.(469) The President was in the Oval Office during most of this period, from 11:59 a.m. to 1:47 p.m.(470) He did not have any telephone calls.(471)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she got a call from Ms. Currie at about 11 a.m. that day, inviting her to come to the White House at about 1 p.m. Ms. Lewinsky arrived wearing a straw hat with the hat pin the President had given her, and bringing gifts for him, including a puzzle and a Banana Republic shirt. She gave him the gifts in the dining room, and they moved to the area of the study.(472)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President explained that they had to end their intimate relationship.(473) Earlier in his marriage, he told her, he had had hundreds of affairs; but since turning 40, he had made a concerted effort to be faithful.(474) He said he was attracted to Ms. Lewinsky, considered her a great person, and hoped they would remain friends. He pointed out that he could do a great deal for her. The situation, he stressed, was not Ms. Lewinsky's fault.(475) Ms. Lewinsky, weeping, tried to persuade the President not to end the sexual relationship, but he was unyielding, then and subsequently.(476) Although she and the President kissed and hugged thereafter, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the sexual relationship was over.(477)

Three days after this meeting, on May 27, 1997, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected President Clinton's claim that the Constitution immunized him from civil lawsuits. The Court ordered the sexual harassment case Jones v. Clinton to proceed.(478)

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