Clinton Signs Record-Breaking Book Deal

Former President Clinton is making history again, landing a record book deal that will make him a wealthy man.

Alfred A. Knopf publishers announced today that Clinton has signed a deal to write his memoir.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources familiar with the negotiations said Clinton's upfront pay for the book would be more than $12 million — more than anything the publishing world has ever seen.

It's higher than the previous record advance: $8.5 million for Pope John Paul II in 1994. It's also a larger advance than the $8 million Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, got for her memoir.

The multimillion-dollar advance, which includes overseas rights, was selected from four or five competing offers.

Will He Mention Monica?

In a prepared statement, Knopf said the book "will be a thorough and candid telling of his life, with a primary focus on the White House years."

That means, sources say, the former president will address his impeachment. Left unclear is how far he will go in writing about personal relationships, including his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton plans to write the memoir himself — without the help of a ghostwriter. It is due in bookstores in 2003.

Publishing sources say Clinton plans to model his book on the memoir of the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who wrote about her husband's suicide in a dignified way.

The Clintons reportedly still owe around $4 million in legal fees from their time in the White House.

ABCNEWS Jackie Judd and Mark Halperin contributed to this report.