Hillary Clinton Asked About Paula Jones at Women's Economic Forum

Hillary Clinton got an unexpected question during a Q&A on Thursday.

December 4, 2015, 11:35 AM

— -- Hillary Clinton got an unexpected question during a Q&A on Thursday at a women's economic forum in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A voter asked Clinton about the stance she took on sexual assault victims -- and brought up former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton during his presidency.

"Secretary Clinton, you recently came out to say that all rape victims should be believed, but would you say that about Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and/or Paula Jones? Should we believe them, as well?" the woman asked.

Clinton kept her response brief: "Well, I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence," she said.

Back in September, Clinton addressed sexual assault on campuses at an Iowa campaign event and tweeted that every survivor of sexual assault has the "right to be believed."

"I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don't let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we're with you as you go forward," Clinton said at a campaign event in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Jones' lawsuit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jones and former President Clinton reached an out-of-court settlement after four years of legal battle, in which Clinton agreed to pay Jones $860,000 to drop the lawsuit. The Washington Post reported that Clinton didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing, and according to Clinton's lawyer at the time, Jones's allegations were "baseless."

The other women mentioned by the New Hampshire voter -- Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey -- have also accused former President Clinton of sexual assault and harassment. Clinton's attorney, David E. Kendall, called Broaddrick's charge "absolutely false" and Bill Clinton said that, "well, my counsel has made a statement about the ... issue, and I have nothing to add to it."

Kathleen Willey and former President Clinton had a friendship but it was not sexual, the White House said at the time.

According to CNN, the White House released a statement that read in part: "Notably, over the last four years, the president and Ms. Willey continued to have a friendly relationship, and he is bewildered by her allegation."