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Has Jones Changed Her Mind?

Her lawyers used to say money wasn't important; now they say 'some compensation' is justified

By Bob Franken/CNN

paula court

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 30) -- From the beginning of her sexual harassment case, Paula Jones and her attorneys have insisted that a monetary settlement was not important to them, in spite of the fact that Jones had sued for $700,000. They said she would contribute any financial award above legal fees to charity.

That was then. Now, Jones attorney Gilbert Davis says, "I think her loss of reputation, in which she's had to endure, now, a trial delay because of an immunity that, nine to nothing, the Supreme Court has decided the president does not have entitles her to some compensation."

Has Jones changed her mind?

Davis says, "It's her lawyers' view that, frankly, she should be compensated for that. It's not her view, it's ours."

davis

The president's attorney, Robert Bennett, had no comment. But in an interview with CNN earlier this week, he was emphatic about a financial settlement. "It has always been our position from day one, we would never pay any money to settle this case."

Now that Jones has won at the Supreme Court, her attorneys also say they are more adamant about what it would take in a statement from the president before they would consider dropping their case.

On the day before the lawsuit was filed in 1994, attorneys for the two sides were dickering over a statement from the president that would say, "I have no recollection of meeting Paula Jones on May 8, 1991, in a room at the Excelsior Hotel." That was the president's version.

Jones' attorneys wanted, "I do not deny meeting Paula Jones on May 8, 1991, in a room at the Excelsior Hotel. She did not engage in any improper or sexual conduct. I believe her to be a truthful and moral person."

bennett

The negotiations fell through. Three years later, with a Supreme Court victory under their belts, Jones' attorneys say they will now require Clinton to explicitly say that Jones was telling the truth about that incident.

Her original charge is that then-Gov. Clinton exposed himself to her in a Little Rock hotel room.

Obviously, the two sides are playing hardball right now. The public taunting will go on even if the attorneys are trying to reach some sort of accommodation behind the scenes. But the key word here is "if."





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