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Monica Lewinsky and her stepmother push through a crowd as they leave a Santa Monica restaurant. (AP)

L.A. Police Warn Media Chasing Lewinsky

By William Claiborne
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 8, 1998; Page A23

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7—Police officials today warned the news media of the dangers of pursuing Monica S. Lewinsky in her car following an incident in which the former White House intern's family van was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a television cameraman.

The accident occurred on Friday on the San Diego Freeway as Lewinsky, her father, Bernard, and stepmother, Barbara, were being followed by a half-dozen news vehicles as they drove to the home of their attorney, William H. Ginsburg. Gary Greenfield, a California highway patrol officer, said Bernard Lewinsky slowed his van as he approached stop-and-go traffic on the rain-slicked interstate highway and was bumped from behind by a car driven by Associated Press television cameraman Jeff Schaeffer, 30.

No one was cited in the incident, although two highway patrol officers visited the Lewinsky home Friday night to take an accident report.

Authorities said there was no visible damage to the vehicles and no reportable injuries, although Barbara Lewinsky complained of pain and said she would see a physician.

"The danger of following a vehicle like this too closely in unsafe conditions is obvious," Greenfield said.

Tori Smith, a spokeswoman for AP in New York, said she did not know if the news agency plans to change its instructions to photographers assigned to cover Monica S. Lewinsky.

Lewinsky has been under a virtual siege by news photographers and television camera operators camped outside her father's home in Brentwood since she arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday amidst allegations that she had an affair with President Clinton and lied about it in an affidavit submitted in connection with the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit.

On the few occasions Lewinsky has left the house, she has been pursued by news vehicles.

Lewinsky's lawyers and the independent counsel's office let a negotiation deadline pass Friday with no sign of an agreement that would grant her immunity in exchange for her testimony about whether Clinton urged her to lie about their relationship in the deposition. Ginsburg has said he and Lewinsky probably will return to Washington next week.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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