Juanita Broaddrick Debate
Debates and Polls
For Debates and Polls
On All Topics
In 1978, 35-year-old Juanita Broaddrick--a Clinton campaign worker--had already owned a nursing home for five years. It was that home that Attorney General Clinton visited one day, on a campaign stop during his run for governor. He invited Juanita, then still married to her first husband, to visit campaign headquarters when she was in Little Rock. As it happened, she told him, she was planning to attend a seminar of the American College of Nursing Home Administrators the very next week and would do just that. On her arrival in Little Rock, she called campaign headquarters. Mrs. Broaddrick was surprised to be greeted by an aide who seemed to expect her call, and who directed her to call the attorney general at his apartment. They arranged to meet at the coffee shop of the Camelot Hotel, where the seminar was held--a noisy place, Mr. Clinton pointed out; they could have coffee in her room. They had not been there more than five minutes, Mrs. Broaddrick says, when he moved close as they stood looking out at the Arkansas River. He pointed out an old jailhouse and told her that when he became governor, he was going to renovate that place. (The building was later torn down, but in the course of their searches, NBC's investigators found proof that, as Mrs. Broaddrick said, there had been such a jail at the time.) But the conversation did not linger long on the candidate's plans for social reform. For, Mrs. Broaddrick relates, he then put his arms around her, startling her. "He told me, 'We're both married people,' " she recalls. She recalls, too, that in her effort to make him see she had no interest of this kind in him, she told him yes, they were both married but she was deeply involved with another man--which was true. She was talking about the man she would marry after her divorce, David Broaddrick, now her husband of 18 years. The argument failed to persuade Mr. Clinton, who, she says, got her onto the bed, held her down forcibly and bit her lips. The sexual entry itself was not without some pain, she recalls, because of her stiffness and resistance. When it was over, she says, he looked down at her and said not to worry, he was sterile--he had had mumps when he was a child. "As though that was the thing on my mind--I wasn't thinking about pregnancy, or about anything," she says. "I felt paralyzed and was starting to cry." Her friend Norma Rogers, a nurse who had accompanied her on the trip, found her on the bed. She was, Ms. Rogers related in an interview, in a state of shock--lips swollen to double their size, mouth discolored from the biting, her pantyhose torn in the crotch. "She just stayed on the bed and kept repeating, 'I can't believe what happened.' " Ms. Rogers applied ice to Juanita's mouth, and they drove back home, stopping along the way for more ice.
Juanita Broaddrick denied the encounter in an affidavit in January 1998 in the Paula Jones case, in which she was known only as "Jane Doe No. 5." Through all those years, she refused to come forward. When pressed by the Jones lawyers, she denied the allegation.
Two friends, Susan Lewis and Norma Rogers, said she told them of the incident at the time. Ms. Rogers, then the director of Mrs. Broaddrick's nursing home, said she entered the room and found Mrs. Broaddrick crying and in "a state of shock." Her upper lip was puffed out and blue, and appeared to have been hit. "She told me he forced himself on her, forced her to have intercourse,"
FROM LISA MYERS INTERVIEW WITH MSNBC
We asked the White House more than
two weeks ago: Please give us any information you have that would indicate that
Bill Clinton was somewhere other than Little Rock on April 25, 1978, and
therefore could not have done what Juanita Broaddrick alleges.
We also asked the White House: Please tell us anything you know about Juanita Broaddrick, certainly anything that you think impairs her credibility.
Again, we got nothing from the White House other than a statement by the president’s lawyer, David Kendall, denying any assault.
MYERS: Well, first of all we
have a date.
Juanita remembers many things about what she says happened that day. She remembers the outfit she was wearing, she remembers the furnishings in the hotel room, she remembers that the room was on a high floor of the hotel, she remembers what time of year it was — that it was spring.
One of the problems we had is that initially, as of today, in fact, Juanita Broaddrick did not remember the date. She remembered that the incident occurred in Little Rock, at the Camelot Hotel, at the nursing home convention in the spring.
So what we had to go out and do was go back through records from 1978 and try to find out was there a nursing home convention at the Camelot, in Little Rock in the spring. And we learned, after great digging by some tenacious investigators and researchers for “Dateline,” that in fact there was a nursing home convention at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock in April 1978, and in poring through state records we also found that Juanita Broaddrick received a credit for attending a nursing home seminar the same day, April 25.
She now believes that was indeed the date of the incident.
MSNBC: So you were able to place her there. Where you able to place Mr. Clinton there?
MYERS: No. And that is one of the reasons that we could not immediately air the story. We needed to try to figure out: Was it possible that Bill Clinton was across the state that morning and therefore couldn’t possibly have been in Little Rock?
One of the reasons we may never know the full truth of what happened is that other than Juanita Broaddrick, there was no witness. So far as we know, no one saw Bill Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick’s hotel room, or even saw him in the hotel.
MSNBC: In terms of corroboration, was there any one thing that finally allowed NBC to be comfortable enough to air this story?
MYERS: It was the culmination of a careful and extensive investigation. We were able to confirm a great number of the details around the edges and also eliminate the possibility of a newspaper account that put him elsewhere, or some other unpleasant surprise.
And one of the things we’ve been doing is talking to a lot of people about Juanita Broaddrick. And based on everything we’ve heard, she’s a solid citizen, a respected businesswoman.