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Jones Still Wants Clinton To Pay

October 8, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Paula Jones is standing firm on making President Clinton pay to get rid of her sexual harassment lawsuit against him. But a person familiar with her legal strategy said today she is considering a package payoff less than her $1 million demand.

Jones and her husband, Steven, are weighing whether they could accept a combination of $700,000 from Clinton _ the last offer from presidential attorney Robert Bennett _ plus as much as $1 million from New York real estate tycoon Abe Hirschfeld, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Another legal source familiar with the Jones camp said Mrs. Jones was adamant that some portion of any settlement come from Clinton or his legal defense fund.

Hirschfeld, meanwhile, said today his $1 million offer to settle Jones’ lawsuit still stands even if Jones insists on a separate payment from the president.

But he said both sides in her sexual harassment suit against Clinton have been noncommittal on his offer and have not engaged him in any negotiations.

Asked if he would consider a deal that combines his $1 million offer with money from Clinton’s lawyers, Hirschfeld said, ``I’ll be happy to accept it.″

He called his offer ``a first step in ending this national nightmare,″ referring to the impeachment inquiry being launched by the House against Clinton today.

Hirschfeld’s lawyer, Harvard Hollenberg, said he spoke directly with Bennett and with a lawyer for Jones.

``This is a dead serious offer,″ Hollenberg said. ``It is waiting to be claimed.″

On Oct. 1, Hirschfeld, 79, offered Jones the money to settle her claim against Clinton, which was dismissed by a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., but is now pending before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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