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Report: Two Women Give Support to Sexual Harassment Allegations

November 6, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Paula Jones’ sexual harassment allegation against President Clinton is supported by two friends who say she told them in 1991 about being propositioned by Clinton when he was Arkansas governor, according to a published report.

The American Lawyer Magazine quoted the two women as saying Jones described the alleged encounter to them on the day she says it happened.

Jones’ lawsuit alleges that Clinton propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel suite in 1991, but that she rejected his sexual overture. Clinton has denied ever having an encounter with Jones and has said he cannot recall ever meeting her.

The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments early next year on Clinton’s request to delay the lawsuit until after he leaves office.

American Lawyer’s November issue quotes Jones friend Pamela Blackard as saying that she was with Jones at the hotel on the day of the alleged episode. Jones was distraught when she told her what had happened, Blackard told the magazine.

``She was upset, kind of shaky and had to get her breath,″ Blackard was quoted as saying. ``She said he just kept on moving close to her and putting his hand on her knee, and every time she stopped him he did something else.″

The magazine said another Jones friend, Debra Ballentine, also said Jones was upset when she told her 90 minutes later: ``You’re not going to believe what just happened to me.″

Ballentine quoted Jones as saying Clinton touched her legs and asked her to perform oral sex, the magazine said.

Clinton’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, said the article was ``just a rehash of rumor and speculation that I believe is untrue. Those are titillating allegations which really are just tabloid trash with a legal caption.″

Jones filed the lawsuit in May 1994 and is seeking more than $700,000 in damages.

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