Ms. Broaddrick, a nursing home administrator and successful professional, had been a campaign volunteer in Clinton’s 1978 campaign when then-Attorney General Clinton was running for governor. Lisa Myers of NBC first reported her story for television… But at a later date Broaddrick sat down with the Wall Street Journal‘s Dorothy Rabinowitz and told her story again.
The story: In 1978, 35-year-old Juanita Broaddrick–a Clinton campaign worker–had already owned a nursing home for five years. Since her graduation from nursing school she had worked for several such facilities and decided she wanted to run one of her own. 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.”
As he got to the door, she remembers, he turned. “This is the part that always stays in my mind–the way he put on his sunglasses. Then he looked at me and said, ‘You better put some ice on that.’ And then he left.”
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.
Broaddrick also told Rabinowitz that after her interview with NBC’s Myers, NBC had balked at airing it. The Clinton impeachment proceedings were in full swing, and there was an apparent sentiment within the network not to add to Clinton’s woes. According to Broaddrick., Myers had said to her:
There is, of course, much more to this story. NBC finally aired the Myers-Broaddrick interview — long after Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in the impeachment trial. At one point early on Broaddrick had even denied the story in an affidavit out of fear. But when the lawyers for Clinton’s special prosecutor Kenneth Starr came to her, realizing lying to a federal prosecutor in a presidential impeachment trial was at a whole other level, Broaddrick came forth with her story.