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Media Swarm Sherry Rowlands’ Townhouse, But She’s Long Gone

August 30, 1996

LAKE RIDGE, Va. (AP) _ Cars and trucks lurched to a stop along a quiet street and reporters hopped out and began knocking on doors. Overhead, a helicopter hovered over a butter yellow townhouse with marigolds in the front yard.

Thus began the search Thursday for kiss-and-tell call girl Sherry Rowlands.

Dick Morris, President Clinton’s top adviser, resigned Thursday after tabloid reports that he had a yearlong affair with Rowlands, allowing her to eavesdrop on calls to the White House and read speeches before they were delivered.

About 280 miles north of Rowlands’ townhouse, police chased away reporters in Redding, Conn., hoping to catch Morris, 48, and his wife returning home. They both left the Democratic National Convention in Chicago Thursday after he resigned.

Upon his arrival Thursday night, Morris smiled slightly and waved from the passenger seat of his red Jeep Cherokee as it turned into the driveway. He didn’t respond to questions shouted at him by reporters.

The Star supermarket tabloid, which interviewed Rowlands, refused to reveal her whereabouts. Journalists surrounded the townhouse where she runs A Woman’s Touch, a housecleaning business. The uproar forced out her sister and a niece.

Rowlands had been gone since last weekend, said a neighbor, Debra Banks. She had three sons ranging in age from 13 to 17, who became friends with her own sons, Mrs. Banks said.

Neighbors said Rowlands, her sister, Lisa White, and White’s daughter, Tiffany White, had shared the two-story apartment in Washington, D.C.’s expanding suburban sprawl since October.

Reporters swarmed Lisa White as she scurried between a front door and a small red car. She loaded her daughter, a white cat and a Pomeranian dog named Bijou in a car and sped away.

White confirmed that Rowlands was her sister, but wouldn’t comment on Morris or her sister’s whereabouts.

Details about Rowlands, 37, were scarce in the suburban Washington, D.C., townhouse complex. She had lived in the townhouse only since October, neighbors said.

One neighbor, Britta Barber, said Rowlands often lounged on the deck of the townhouse, working on her tan, and regularly entertained a man who drove a maroon station wagon. ``Yeah that looks like him,″ she said when shown a photo of Morris in the tabloid.

Often, the car stayed outside the townhouse overnight and on weekends, Mrs. Barber said.

Back in Connecticut, police told reporters to stay away from the Morris’ two-story house that sits several hundred yards down a gravel driveway off a densely wooded road. A private security guard was posted at the end of the driveway.

Martin Stader, a neighbor, said he was surprised by the reports.

``I think he is a kind, ethical man,″ Stader said. ``We haven’t had this much excitement since Hillary was here.″

Two years ago, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attended a Democratic congressional fund-raiser at the Morris home.

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