In 2009, Bill Clinton bought a three-bedroom house about a mile from the beach in suburban Los Angeles — for use by his younger half-brother Roger, the aspiring actor whose legal troubles had long been a source of distress for the family.
A year earlier, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped brother, Anthony Rodham, testified that the former president had recently lent him $160,000 and was paying school tuition and a monthly allowance for his teenage son.
“They’ve given me money all the time,” Rodham said of his famous sister and brother-in-law during a 2012 court proceeding.
The financial empire constructed by the Clintons over the past two decades that made them rich and spawned a massive global charity has also given a personal boost to members of their family.
The foundation has provided a perch, and a career, for their daughter, Chelsea, who stands to inherit her parents’ legacy and fortune.
Less well-known is the help they have given to their brothers — displays of quiet loyalty to siblings who have been known at times as sources of political headaches.
Some evidence of this largesse, such as the loan for Anthony Rodham and the house for Roger Clinton, purchased through a limited liability corporation, appear in public records that have not been previously reported. The records show that the Clintons appear to try to extend the assistance discreetly.
The Clintons have always said over the years that they love their brothers and remain devoted to them. The financial assistance shows the allegiance has gone beyond mere words. And it has continued into recent years, as Hillary Clinton built her own political career, culminating with a second run for the presidency.
Of the brothers, Anthony Rodham has drawn the most attention recently, for his involvement in a Haitian mining company whose chief executive he met at a Clinton Foundation event and his business dealings with Terry McAuliffe just before the longtime Clinton friend was elected governor of Virginia.
Hillary Clinton’s other brother, Hugh Rodham, has built a small law practice in South Florida and has remained largely out of view since Bill Clinton’s White House days — when he waged a quixotic campaign for Senate based mostly on his family name and then faced accusations he took money to help secure presidential pardons for two convicted felons.
Roger Clinton, who once played in a band and appeared in several movies while his brother was in the White House, now lives in California, where he has faced a series of public legal and financial problems.
Roger Clinton and Hugh Rodham could not be reached for comment. Anthony Rodham deferred comment to Lanny Davis, a family friend and former special counsel to Bill Clinton, who released a statement on behalf of all three brothers that called for privacy.
Davis said the trio “live their own lives” and that they “plan on vigorously guarding their own family’s privacy by not responding to purely political attacks on people who are not public officials.”
Spokespeople for the Clintons said that the couple will forever be loyal to their brothers.
“Their brothers have always been there for them, and they will always be there for their brothers,” said Nick Merrill and Angel Urena, speaking on behalf of Hillary and Bill Clinton, respectively, in a joint statement. “It is for them to decide how much of their private lives to share publicly in the context of a political campaign.”
The 1,600-square-foot house, purchased for Roger Clinton for $857,000, is in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance.
A person close to the Clintons, who was not authorized to speak for the couple and spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the former president was behind the purchase. The sale was carried out by Calle Mayor LLC, named for the street on which the house is located. The corporation was registered by a Clinton aide, using a post office box in Chappaqua, N.Y., where the Clintons live.
Pandora Classen, who lived in the house for more than 20 years before the sale, said she was told by her real estate agent after accepting the LLC’s bid that the buyer was Bill Clinton. Roger Clinton had toured the house before the sale, she said she was told.
“It was a surprise to us,” she said, noting with a sigh that she doubts Roger Clinton uses the chicken coop she lovingly erected in the back yard.
Financial disclosures filed by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state show that her husband owned real property in California starting in 2009. The records show that, in 2012, the property was “disposed of” by means “other than sale or exchange.”
A campaign spokesman declined to say whether the information listed on the disclosure forms referred to the Roger Clinton home. The spokesman also declined to explain the change in status in 2012, the nature of which could not be determined from other public records.
In his memoir “My Life,” Bill Clinton wrote that he was particularly protective of Roger, who was 10 years his junior and the son of his mother and her second husband, shielding his brother at times from Roger’s alcoholic and abusive father.
Clinton wrote that he was “miserable” for a time in the mid-1980s when, as Arkansas governor, he had to keep quiet for six weeks after he was informed by the state police that Roger Clinton had been caught on camera selling cocaine to an undercover officer.
“Every time I looked in the mirror I was disgusted. I had been so caught up in my life and work that I’d missed all the signs,” he wrote.
Roger Clinton served more than a year in prison for drug charges. But the brothers remained close, and Bill Clinton wrote that Roger, along with Anthony and Hugh Rodham, were “wonderfully supportive” in the dark days when Congress sought to impeach him over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
“Roger joked to me that it was nice to finally be the brother who wasn’t in trouble,” Clinton wrote.
Roger Clinton was one of 140 people pardoned by Bill Clinton on his last day in office. The pardon effectively wiped Roger Clinton’s criminal record clean.
Anthony Rodham repeatedly discussed his reliance on his famous sister and brother-in-law during depositions taken for legal disputes over the years.
In a February 2008 deposition that has not previously been reported publicly, Rodham suggested he was trying to use his sister’s presidential campaign that year to make money for himself.
Under oath, he testified that he was advising the California-based Huntington Career College on “how they should set up a fundraiser for my sister.” If the campaign event was held, Rodham said, he would get five percent of the take.
Rodham did not say whether the fundraiser took place, and it was not clear from public records whether he made any money from the arrangement.
The college’s phone number has been disconnected, and state records show that its California business registration has been suspended. Efforts to locate its one-time president were unsuccessful.
Merrill, the spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, did not respond to questions about Rodham’s contention. Davis, the spokesman for Rodham, also did not answer questions about the arrangement.
Rodham also testified in 2008 that Bill Clinton paid private school tuition for his son and also gave the teenager some money each month.
“He has a thing he does with his Uncle Bill where every month he gets $100 from his Uncle Bill and he gets to keep $75 if he gives $25 to charity,” Rodham said.
In a 2012 deposition, reported in May by the New York Times, Rodham testified that Bill Clinton had leaned on friend Terry McAuliffe (D), now the governor of Virginia, to get him hired at an investment firm working with McAuliffe’s eco-friendly car company.
“I was complaining to my brother-in-law I didn’t have any money,” Anthony Rodham said in the deposition. “And he asked McAuliffe to give me a job.”
A spokesman for McAuliffe did not dispute Rodham’s version of events.
Gwendolyn Jo M. Carlberg, Rodham’s former lawyer, said she witnessed her client’s dependence on the Clintons.
“Bill would say, ‘You’ve got to make it on your own,’ ” recalled Carlberg, who sued Rodham over unpaid fees but said she has affection for him. “But on the other hand, they were not going to let him flounder.”
Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.