Clinton, Jones Settle for $850,000
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton has agreed to pay Paula Jones $850,000 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit, her lawyer said Friday. Lawyers for both sides signed a deal for a cash payment that includes no apology, said the lawyer, Bill McMillan.
``Paula is very pleased that it’s finally over,″ he said.
A Clinton lawyer also confirmed the deal.
McMillan, who took over the stalled settlement negotiations after Mrs. Jones’ Dallas-based lawyers said they would soon quit the case, planned a Monday news conference with Mrs. Jones outside his Los Angeles-area home.
Asked Friday afternoon if Mrs. Jones considered the payment a victory, McMillan replied, ``You bet.″
The deal includes ``all the standard, mutual releases and dismissals,″ McMillan said, but not the apology Mrs. Jones sought when she filed suit four years ago.
She alleged that Clinton, as Arkansas governor, made a crude advance in a room at a Little Rock hotel. Clinton has denied her accusation, and her lawsuit was dismissed April 1. An appeal of that dismissal was pending.
``What is signed, sealed and delivered is something called a stipulation of settlement,″ McMillan said late Friday from his Los Angeles law office. ``It’s not signed by the parties, it’s just signed by the lawyers. Other papers will be signed by the parties later.″
Mrs. Jones had initially demanded $1 million and an apology from the president. Clinton’s lawyers made it clear no apology would be forthcoming.
Clinton lead attorney, Robert Bennett, had countered with offers of $500,000 and $700,000, both rejected. Bennett did not immediately return calls for comment on Friday.
Just last week, Bennett dismissed a $950,000 suggestion from McMillan and Mrs. Jones’ lawyers at the Dallas firm of Rader, Campbell, Fisher & Pyke. At the time, Bennett did not indicate another counteroffer from his side was in the offing, and the Jones camp took that as a sign of waning interest in any settlement.
Mrs. Jones, who was a clerk for the Arkansas state government when the alleged encounter occurred in 1991, contended in her lawsuit that her rejection of Clinton’s advance later affected her job opportunities.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled on April 1, that Mrs. Jones’ allegations, even if true, did not add up to a ``hostile environment″ case of sexual harassment.
Mrs. Jones’ lawyers had appealed that ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
It was Clinton’s sworn deposition for the Jones case that led to the impeachment hearings that begin next week in the House Judiciary Committee.
Under questioning by Mrs. Jones’ lawyers in January, Clinton denied having sexual relations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr alleges that Clinton lied under oath in the Jones deposition and otherwise obstructed justice by trying to keep his affair with Ms. Lewinsky secret.