Jones Legal Team Says 'Sexual Aversion' Claim Not New
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 23) -- A spokesman for Paula Jones said Sunday her claim of suffering "sexual aversion" after an alleged encounter with President Bill Clinton is not a new allegation in her civil rights suit and accused the White House of putting "a political spin on this thing."
Jones's attorneys included the claim in a 700-page filing March 13 with the
federal court in Little Rock, Ark. Clinton's chief lawyer in the Jones case,
Robert Bennett, said last Thursday in a letter to the judge in the case that he
would question Jones about her sexual activity since the alleged encounter with
then-Gov. Clinton in 1991.
The following day Bennett reversed himself on the idea of questioning
Jones about her sex life.
Jones's attorney, Donovan Campbell, said on ABC's "This Week" his team "sent out," but did not "leak" the contents of Bennett's letter. He said some commentators said that Bennett "left the under-seal language off of the letter in order that he could get these allegations of alleged prior sexual conduct out into the general public even though he was never intending to file it with the court."
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, which is paying for the Jones
legal team, said Jones always alleged that "emotional distress, anxiety" resulted from her alleged encounter with Clinton.
"I think [Bennett's] raising sexual aversion as a new claim is a way to put
a political spin on this thing. It think it's a political spin, and I think
it's pretty sleazy," Whitehead said.
Campbell said federal rules of evidence in the Violence Against Women Act
prohibit questions about a woman plaintiff's sexual history, except in very
rare instances, instances that Jones' case do not permit, he said.
Jones cannot be questioned about her sexual history, he said, because she
is not claiming damages "for that particular aspect of emotional distress" and she has not "put her reputation at issue" in her filing of the case.
"That has been taken out," Campbell said.
Asked how he would respond if the judge issues a summary judgment in the
case that the Clinton team is seeking, Campbell said, "It depends on how much of a summary judgment she hands down. If it's just a partial summary judgment on one certain legal theory, we go forward with the jury trial on the rest of them. If it's a complete summary judgment against Paula Jones, then we appeal it," he said.