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Juanita Broaddrick, the 55 year old woman known in government documents as "Jane Doe No. 5," decided to speak out in February about her unproven allegation that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in a hotel room 21 years ago, during his first campaign for governor.
A nursing home operator from Arkansas, Broaddrick said she did not tell authorities immediately after the alleged sexual assault because, "I just don't think anyone would have believed me."
Broddrick's story circulated in Arkansas for years. As Clinton moved up the political ladder towards the presidency in 1992, his adversaries tried to convince her to go public, but she refused. Five years later, she signed an affidavit for investigators representing Paula Jones, denying that the president made unwelcome sexual advances.
On April 8, 1998, however, Broaddrick recanted her sworn testimony in the Jones suit under independant counsel Kenneth Starr's promise of immunity. Broaddrick said she lied in the Jones suit because she did not want to be drawn into the case against the president. Starr included her statement as a footnote in the evidence he sent to Congress.
During the debate on impeachment last December, Clinton critics in the House, headed by House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Tex) and Judiciary Committee member Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), urged colleagues to read unreleased FBI documents relating to Jane Doe No. 5.
In February, Broaddrick went public with her account. The Wall Street Journal printed a story about her charges on its opinion page. Broaddrick also granted The Washington Post permission to use off-the-record interviews that started last April. But, her charges came too late to legally affect the president, who was acquitted Clinton in his Senate impeachment trial in February.
Accuser Thought No One Would Believe Her (Feb. 25, 1999)
(Updated March 15, 1999)
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