Jones v. Clinton Special Report
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Clinton Offered to Settle Lawsuit

From news services
The Washington Post
Sunday, October 2, 1994; Page A06

In an eleventh-hour settlement offer in the Paula Corbin Jones sexual harassment case, President Clinton conceded that he may have met the woman in a hotel room and said he regretted "untrue assertions" made about her, Jones's attorney said yesterday.

Joseph Cammarata released the draft of a statement by Clinton which the president's lawyer faxed to Jones's lawyers last May in an attempt to stave off a lawsuit.

The settlement talks delayed the filing of the lawsuit, but negotiations collapsed when White House sources were quoted on television as saying that the delay was due to Jones not having a case.

In a release faxed to news organizations, Cammarata proposed a statement that he wants Clinton to read before Oct. 9 in return for which Jones would drop the suit.

According to Cammarata, the statement Clinton's lawyers proposed last May said: "I have no recollection of meeting Paula Jones on May 8, 1991, in a room at the Excelsior Hotel. However, I do not challenge her claim that we met there and I may very well have met her in the past.

"She did not engage in any improper or sexual conduct. I regret the untrue assertions which have been made about her conduct which may have adversely challenged her character and good name," it added, according to Cammarata.

It had been reported earlier that Clinton offered a statement to settle the matter that suggested he might have met her at a conference at the Excelsior Hotel but had no recollection of the meeting.

Jones alleges that while she was a state worker attending a public function at the hotel, Clinton dispatched a state police officer to summon her to a room where he then suggested she engage in a sexual act with him. She said she declined. Clinton supporters have suggested Jones made up the story.

The president's lawyers have asked the court to dismiss the suit because while he is president he is immune from such lawsuits.

Cammarata's release said that if Clinton reads a similar statement by Oct. 9 and that if he, his staff or other agents make no further comment for 30 days, then Jones will drop the suit.

The statement that Cammarata proposed yesterday begins:

"I do not deny meeting Paula Jones on May 8, 1991 in a room at the Excelsior Hotel. She did not engage in any improper or sexual conduct. I believe her to be a truthful and moral person."

© Copyright 1994 The Washington Post Company

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