Clinton Sex Allegation Lawsuit Dropped

ByABC News
February 22, 2001, 8:28 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2001 -- A federal court judge has tossed out a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed to have had a long-running sexual affair with former President Clinton.

In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge William Bryant rejected a suit filed in August 1998 by Texas real estate lawyer Dolly Kyle Browning, alleging Clinton and others tried to prevent her from publishing a book loosely based on her relationship with him.

Browning later alleged a racketeering conspiracy involving New Yorker writer Jane Mayer and the magazine, Clinton aides Marsha Scott and Bruce Lindsey and Clinton attorney Robert Bennett, aimed at defaming her and suppressing her book, Purposes of the Heart.

Complete Rejection of Case

Bryants opinion, dated Feb. 8 and filed Feb. 12, amounts to a complete rejection of the legal underpinnings of Brownings case. The judge ruled the case was so flawed there was no need to proceed with depositions or a trial.

Attorneys for the former president were clearly pleased.

It was a carefully reasoned opinion, longtime Clinton lawyer David Kendall said Thursday.

Browning has already appealed the judges decision. Were confident it will be overturned, Brownings attorney Larry Klayman said Wednesday.

Punching a hole in the idea that Clinton or his associates could have undermined the book, Bryant found that among publishers there was little appetite for Brownings book before or after the alleged conspiracy, that for two years there was not even a hint of interest on the part of a publisher.

He also suggested Browning may have had an unreasonably inflated opinion of its marketablity. Even extreme optimism must ultimately give way to reality, Bryant wrote.

Sexual Affair Allegations

Browning says she went to high school with Bill Clinton and his brother Roger in Hot Springs, Ark. in the 1960s. She alleged she became friends with the future president and carried on an extramarital sexual affair with him from the mid-1970s until roughly 1991.