Paula Jones Reacts to Clinton Memoir

July 1, 2004 -- -- Paula Jones, the former Arkansas state employee who launched a sexual harassment suit against then-President Clinton, tells ABC News she was the first step in an effort by anti-Clinton forces that eventually led to his impeachment.

Hillary Rodham Clinton famously blamed the scandals that led to her husband's impeachment on a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Jones told ABC News "Primetime's" Cynthia McFadden: "I agree that I was a small little entity in this big vast whatever-you-want-to-call-it that got erected."

She continued, "It started with me — and they did use me for their own agendas."

The Power of a President

Jones spoke to McFadden in a "Primetime" interview about her reactions to the former president's newly released memoir, "My Life."

She said she was shocked by Clinton's recent explanation of why he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he did it "because I could."

Jones said her first thought was: "Oh, my! He actually admitted that — and that's why he did that with me." (Jones' lawsuit accused Clinton of exposing himself and making a sexual proposition to her in an Arkansas hotel room.)

Jones feels that Clinton's motivations were the same with former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey and former cabaret singer Gennifer Flowers, who also accused Clinton of sexual misbehavior.

Flowers rocked Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 1992 when she announced to the media she had had a 12-year affair with the would-be candidate. Clinton later admitted her allegations were at least partially true.

"You know, he did it because he could," Jones said. "Because he used his power. So that's exactly my thought when he said that."

Jones also told McFadden she knew about the president's relationship with Lewinsky before his wife learned of it. One of Jones' lawyers confronted Clinton before the Lewinsky news became public, she said.

"I knew very little about her except she was an intern, that she worked in the White House … and that they had some relations," Jones said.

Her lawyers were interested in Lewinsky because they were trying to establish a pattern of behavior by Clinton, "so it would be more believable that he did do it to me," Jones said.

Harsh Condemnations

McFadden also spoke to Willey about "My Life," even though she is only mentioned three times in the book. Willey testified in Jones' sexual harassment case that Clinton had groped her. The president denied the allegation under oath.

In his book, Clinton dismisses her story with a single line: "It wasn't true." Her response: "Time will prove that he's the liar … His whole life is a lie."

Willey said Clinton blames his failures and obsessions on his family circumstances, but "we all deal with what happens in our lives. … You have to take personal responsibility."

She also condemned Clinton's explanation of his behavior. "The mere fact that our president took time out of his day to do the kinds of things that he did in that house, in that office, because he could, because he could … it's offensive. It's absolutely offensive to hear that."

Willey says she has no plans to buy the book or read the book, despite all the attention it has been getting.

"I think he's rewriting history," she said. "And he doesn't care, he and his wife don't care who they step on as they are climbing to the top. They don't care. They never will."

Clinton received a $10 million fee for "My Life." Willey says she is proud she never took any money to tell her story.

"I haven't made one dime off this story and it's been hard. It's been a hard six years," she said.

"I was offered an obscene amount of money to tell my story and believe me, there are days when I think to myself, wouldn't life be simpler if I'd taken all that money?"

Advance Knowledge

Clinton denies sexually harassing Jones and has claimed she was motivated by money. Her suit was dismissed, but she appealed. Clinton paid her $850,000 in November 1998 to settle the suit.

But Jones told McFadden, "I didn't get hardly any money … he's the one who's profiting off of all of this at the moment and he's continuing to do so!"

She continued: "Look what he's doing. He's making $10 million and nobody's asking him what charity is he going to give it to."

Jones says she would like to debate the former president. "I would like to look at him in the eye and say, 'Can you honestly tell me that you never remember meeting me, never remember doing what you did to me? ' " she said.

She was asked if she felt sorry for the former first lady, now a U.S. senator from New York. "Well that's between them, I guess, you know. To each his own," Jones said.

But she added, "If she knows a lot of the stuff that he has done to her and if she's still with him, that's what she wants to do. And, no, I don't feel sorry for her. She's a very big, strong political woman. She knows what's going on and, you know, there's no reason for me to feel sorry for her. If they want to be together, let them be together. Probably they're happy together."

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