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Transcript of Juanita Broaddrick's Interview on Dateline NBC

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Transcript of Juanita Broaddrick's Interview on Dateline NBC

Transcript of Juanita Broaddrick's Interview on Dateline NBC

MSNBC
24 Feb 1999

 

       LAST WEEK, as NBC News continued its investigation, Jane Doe Number 5 went public with her extraordinary allegation --

that she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton 21 years ago. To some this is an old and unprovable accusation that should never have been circulated to begin with. To others it's a story that must be told. Is she to be believed? Or is Jane Doe Number 5 the latest weapon in a relentless political war against Bill Clinton?
       Juanita Broaddrick:
"It's important to me to tell what happened. I don't know how people are going to take this. I don't know what they're going to think after all these years and months why I've come forward."
       Jane Doe Number 5 is 56-year-old Juanita Broaddrick, a successful businesswoman who has been the subject of intense political and media speculation. Rumors about Broaddrick's story have been floating around Arkansas and Washington for years, known to both Clinton haters and supporters.
       Broaddrick was pulled into the Paula Jones case, she met with investigators for the House Judiciary Committee and was interviewed by Ken Starr's investigators. And though what she told Starr remains sealed it was seen by 40 members of Congress before the impeachment vote in the House. Later House Republican Whip Tom Delay publicly urged senators to find out what Jane Doe Number 5 had to say before deciding the fate of the president.
       As the whispers about her grew, Broaddrick found herself hounded by the media --

and she says she was the subject of gossip and half truths on the Internet and in the tabloids.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "All these stories are floating around. Different stories of what really happened, of what people think happened and I was tired of everybody putting their own spin on it."
       The Broaddrick story became public last week, and since then her story has appeared in print, on radio and TV.        But much of what you may have read or heard is incomplete. While NBC News was investigating this story and seeking comment from the White House, our work became the subject of much speculation. Tonight, you'll see what we were able to learn and you'll hear from Juanita Broaddrick herself --

a woman who remained silent for two decades and who admits she has lied under oath about this story in the past but now says she wants to tell the truth.
       Juanita Broaddrick's story begins in 1978 --

she was a registered nurse who had started her own nursing home in Van Buren, Arkansas.
       Bill Clinton was the state attorney general who was running for governor:
       Juanita Broaddrick: "I thought he was just something that was gonna be really good for Arkansas. Thought he was a very charismatic man, that had bright ideas for our state… I just really liked him."
       Broaddrick, whose married name at the time was Juanita Hickey, says she was so impressed with Clinton she volunteered to hand out bumper stickers and signs --

her first and only political campaign. Broaddrick says she met Clinton for the first time when he made a campaign stop at her nursing home in the spring of 1978.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "While he was there visiting, he said 'If you're ever in the, ah you know, Little Rock area, please drop by our campaign office,' and he said 'be sure to call me when you come in and call down to the campaign office.'"
       Broaddrick says not long after that conversation she did go to Little Rock for a nursing home meeting held at the Camelot Hotel --

now the Doubletree. She says she checked into the hotel and the next morning called Clinton campaign headquarters. She says she was told Clinton was at his apartment and to call him there.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "I did call and ask him if he was gonna be at the headquarters that day and he said no he didn't plan to be there. He says, Clinton said, 'Why don't I just meet you for coffee in the Camelot coffee shop?'"
       But Broaddrick says Clinton called later --

she thinks it was around 9 in the morning --

and asked if they could meet in her hotel room because there were reporters in the coffee shop.

       Lisa Myers: "Did you think his interest in you at the time was personal or professional?"
       Juanita Broaddrick: "I thought it was professional, completely."
       Myers: "So you thought this was going to be a business meeting?"
       Broaddrick: "Yes I did, I really did."
       Myers: "Did you have qualms at all about him coming to the room?"
       Broaddrick: "I was a little bit uneasy. But, I felt, ah, a real friendship toward this man and I didn't really feel any, um any danger in him coming to my room. I sort of ushered us over to the coffee --

I had coffee sitting on a little table over there by the window and it was a real pretty window view that looked down at the river. And he came around me and sort of put his arm over my shoulder to point to this little building and he said he was real interested if he became governor to restore that little building and then all of a sudden, he turned me around and started kissing me. And that was a real shock."
       Myers: "What did you do?"
       Broaddrick: "I first pushed him away and just told him 'No, please don't do that," and I forget, it's been 21 years, Lisa, and I forget exactly what he was saying. It seems like he was making statements that would relate to 'Did you not know why I was coming up here?' and I told him at the time, I said, 'I'm married, and I have other things going on in my life, and this is something that I'm not interested in.'"
       Myers: "Had you, that morning, or any other time, given him any reason to believe you might be receptive?"
       Broaddrick: "No. None. None whatsoever."
       Myers: "Then what happens?"
       Broaddrick: "Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip (she cries). Just a minute... He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. (crying) And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him 'No,' that I didn't want this to happen (crying) but he wouldn't listen to me."
       Myers: "Did you resist, did you tell him to stop?"
       Broaddrick: "Yes, I told him 'Please don't.' He was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious awful person."
       Myers: "You said there was a point at which you stopped resisting?"
       Broaddrick: "Yeah."
       Myers: "Why?"
       Broaddrick: "It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to 'Please stop.' And that's when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip."
       Broaddrick also says the waist of her skirt and her pantyhose were torn.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says 'You better get some ice on that.' And he turned and went out the door."
       Myers: "On your lip?"
       Broaddrick: "Yeah."
       Broaddrick estimates Clinton was in her room less than 30 minutes.
       Myers: "Is there any way at all that Bill Clinton could have thought that this was consensual?"
       Broaddrick: "No. Not with what I told him, and with how I tried to push him away. It was not consensual."
       Myers: "You're saying that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted you, that he raped you."
       Broaddrick: "Yes."
       Myers: "And there is no doubt in your mind that that's what happened?"
       Broaddrick: "No doubt whatsoever."
       While the president and his lawyer declined to be interviewed on camera, through his lawyer the president did issue a statement saying any allegation he assaulted Broaddrick is "absolutely false" and when asked about it Wednesday the president said he had nothing to add to that statement.
       It's important to note --

and Broaddrick concedes --

that aside from her, there are no witnesses and as far as we know, no one saw Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick's room, or even the hotel. She took no photos, kept no evidence and the hotel has no records to confirm that she stayed there. However, Broaddrick does have a friend who backs up her story.
       Norma Kelsey did not want to be interviewed on camera. However she told us she did accompany Broaddrick on that business trip to Little Rock --

they even shared a hotel room. Norma says when she left that morning Broaddrick told her she was planning to see Clinton. But Norma says when she called around lunchtime, Broaddrick was upset and crying so she returned to the room.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "Well, I was very emotional within an hour or so after it happened and then by the time Norma got back my whole top lip was turned out, was very swollen and very ugly looking."
       Norma also says that Broaddrick's lip and mouth were badly swollen, that her pantyhose had been ripped off and she says Broaddrick told her she had been sexually assaulted by Clinton.
       Myers: "Did you feel any internal injuries?"
       Broaddrick: "Of course. I felt, I felt, just the whole thing you can imagine of being violated. I felt, of course there was pain."
       Myers: "Did you consider going to a doctor?"
       Broaddrick: "No. Not at all. I just wanted to get home. I just, ah, I wanted it to all go away. I wanted to just walk outta there and forget that it had never happened, because I felt very responsible that I had allowed him to come to my room."
       Broaddrick says she decided to leave the hotel immediately without going to the nursing home meeting. She says after Norma helped ice her lip, the two of them left Little Rock and drove more than two hours back to Van Buren.
       Juanita Broaddrick: "We were still in shock, Lisa, over what had happened… It was like this is a horrible thing and I'm gonna wake up in a minute and this is not going to be true."
       Norma told us on the drive back, Broaddrick was very, very upset and in shock and says Broaddrick blamed herself for letting Clinton in her room. And Broaddrick says she never considered going to the police --

especially since Clinton was the Arkansas attorney general at the time.
       Myers: "The question everyone is going to ask is 'Juanita, why didn't you report this 21 years ago?'"
       Broaddrick: "I didn't think anyone would believe me in the world."
       If Juanita Broaddrick ever wanted to press charges against Bill Clinton, it's too late. The statute of limitations in Arkansas is six years.
       If something did happen in that hotel room, who else knew about it? NBC News spent four weeks trying to confirm as many details as possible.
       Lisa Myers: "Did you tell your husband when you got home?"
       Juanita Broaddrick: "No, my husband never knew."
       Juanita Broaddrick says that at the time of the alleged sexual assault her marriage was on the rocks. She says she never told her husband, Gary Hickey, about the alleged incident and told him the swollen lip was the result of an accident. Hickey tells NBC News he doesn't recall either the injury or her explanation. At the time, she was having an affair with the man who would become her second husband --

David Broaddrick --

to whom she's been married 18 years. She says she saw David and told him what happened soon after she returned home.
       Myers: "Did she have any visible injuries?"
       David Broaddrick: "Yes. She, uh, her top lip was black."
       Myers: "As best you can remember, what did she tell you?"
       David Broaddrick: "Uh, like I said, I don't remember the words but that she had been raped by Bill Clinton."
       Myers: "Other than her lip, did she have any injuries?"
       David Broaddrick: "Just mentally she was in bad shape."
       Juanita Broaddrick also says her affair with David made her even more reluctant to report the incident:
       Juanita Broaddrick: "I don't think I would have been real honorable back then in the 70s to have been married and having this affair. I just didn't think anyone would have believed me."
       So who else did Broaddrick talk to?
       Three of her friends tell NBC News she told them about the alleged incident at the time: Susan Lewis...
       Susan Lewis: "It was very traumatic for her."
       Louise Ma...
       Myers: "Did you urge her to report it?"
       Louise Ma: "No."
       Myers: "Why not?"
       Louise Ma: "Because women were made victims at the time. And you know what the courts were like in that time period. It was always the woman's fault."
       And Jean Darden, the sister of Norma Kelsey, the woman who says she saw Juanita at the hotel. Both admit they have a serious reason not to like Bill Clinton --

in 1981 as governor, Clinton commuted the life sentence of their father's killer, making him eligible for parole.
       The stories her friends tell from 20 years ago are consistent --

and Broaddrick herself says she recalls many details. For instance, the outfit she was wearing, the hotel room furnishings, and the time of year --

spring. However, there is one important thing she does not remember --

when the alleged incident happened: not the date, not even the month.
       Lisa Myers: "Some people would say, how can you not remember the specific date of an event as traumatic as this?"
       Juanita Broaddrick: "I really don't have an answer for that except to say I remember the approximate time of year. I probably should remember the date, although it's something I wanted to forget."
       So NBC News tried to figure out the date of the alleged assault. Broaddrick gave us access to all the business and personal records she says she could find. We also checked public records, nursing home records and convention schedules.
       And indeed there was a nursing home meeting at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock on April 25, 1978. Further, state records show Broaddrick got credit for a nursing home seminar that was held that day, April 25.
       So was Bill Clinton even in Little Rock on April 25, 1978? Despite our repeated requests, the White House would not answer that question and declined to release any information about his schedule.
       So we checked 45 Arkansas newspapers and talked to a dozen former Clinton staffers. We found no evidence that Clinton had any public appearances on the morning in question. Articles in Arkansas newspapers suggest he was in Little Rock that day.
       And remember the little building Broaddrick says Clinton pointed to just before the alleged assault in the hotel room? We checked that too, and in fact the Pulaski County jail was visible from rooms facing the river. It has since been demolished.
       But what happened after the alleged assault? It turns out, just three weeks later Broaddrick actually attended a Clinton fundraiser with her first husband.
       Myers: "Some people would wonder why you would go to a fundraiser for someone who you say sexually assaulted you. Couldn't you have said you were sick or gotten out of it?"
       Broaddrick: "I think I was still in denial that time exactly what had happened to me. I still felt very guilty at that time that it was my fault. By letting him come to the room I had given him the wrong idea and just shut up and accept your punishment and don't ever do it again."
       Broaddrick also told us Clinton called her a half dozen times at the nursing home. She says he got through once and asked her when she was coming back to Little Rock. Her response, she says, "I'm not."
       Then in 1979, a year after the alleged assault, Broaddrick was named by Clinton to a non-paying position on a state advisory board.
       Myers: "Did you have reservations about accepting any appointment by Governor Clinton?"
       Broaddrick: "Yes, but I had more or less said to the association that I would do this before I knew it was a governor appointing job. When I agreed to do it I had no idea it was an appointment."
       Over the years, Broaddrick said she had business dealings with the governor's office but not Clinton personally. In 1984, she received a letter signed by Clinton after her nursing home was named one of the state's best facilities. At the bottom, there is a handwritten note that says, "I admire you very much." A routine political thank you? She interprets it as a thank you for her silence.
       In 1990, Clinton honored one of the patients at the nursing home, but Broaddrick says she wasn't there, and didn't learn of the visit until after the fact.
       Broaddrick says she had no face-to-face contact with Clinton until 1991, when she attended a meeting in Little Rock with two friends. They all say it was a nursing home meeting --

but none can remember the date, nor do they have any records --

so we can't confirm it.
       Broaddrick does remember that she was suddenly called out of the meeting, and, she says, to her surprise, there was Bill Clinton in the hallway. One friend says she saw them talking:
       Broaddrick: "And he immediately began this profuse apology, saying, 'Juanita, I'm so sorry for what I did. I'm not the man that I used to be, can you ever forgive me? What can I do to make this up to you?' And I'm standing there in absolute shock. And I told him to go to hell, and I walked off."
       But Broaddrick remained silent when she learned soon after that Clinton was making a bid for the Oval Office.
       Myers: "Here the man is running for president, doesn't the country have a right to know this?"
       Broaddrick: "Yes, and that's what I got to thinking about --

David and I talked about it. We talked about it, and I cried about it. It brought up a lot of hurt, and a lot of things that I'd buried years ago. And then we just decided it wouldn't be in our best interest to do it. So we decided not to."
       In fact, Clinton's political opponents say she rebuffed their efforts to get her to come forward before the 1992 election. After she turned them down, one of the men suggested she had been paid off.
       Myers: "Did you receive any payoff to stay silent?"
       Broaddrick: "Oh goodness, no. I mean how could anyone be bribed or paid-off for, for something that, to not say anything about something that horrible?"
       Myers: "Did Bill Clinton or anyone near him ever threaten you, try to intimidate you, do anything to keep you silent?"
       Broaddrick: "No."
       Myers: "This has been strictly your choice."
       Broaddrick: "Yes."
       Broaddrick says she was determined to keep the incident quiet.
       But in 1997, her hand was forced when she was subpoenaed by Paula Jones' lawyers.
       She filed an affidavit in that case --

under oath as Jane Doe 5 --

denying any "unwelcome sexual advances" by Clinton. She said "These allegations are untrue," and "there is no truth to the rumors."
       Broaddrick: "I didn't want to be forced to testify about one of the most horrific events in my life. I didn't want to go through it again."
       She later told the same story, denying the assault, in a sworn deposition in the Jones case.
       Myers: "Last March another woman comes forward, Kathleen Willey, accuses the president of unwanted sexual advances --

why didn't you come forward?"
       Broaddrick: "Well Lisa, I would get up in the morning and I would think: it's the thing to do. Then by nighttime I would think that could bring no good whatsoever to my life. And I'm sorry for these women. I'm sorry for what they went through, but I just wasn't brave enough to do it. There's nothing else to say."
       But she changed her mind and changed her story, when Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office approached her last April --

investigating wrong-doing in the Jones case.
       Broaddrick says she feared lying to a federal grand jury, and once Starr granted her immunity from prosecution for perjury --

she agreed to come forward with details of her allegations against Clinton.
       But Starr did not pursue the allegations further because he was investigating obstruction of justice charges against the president. Broaddrick never alleged any obstruction --

said the president never urged her to lie --

so Starr didn't pursue the allegations any further.
       Finally, after months of contact with us, Broadderick decided to speak to NBC News, on Jan. 20, in the middle of the Senate impeachment trial.
       Myers: "Then why now Juanita?"
       Broaddrick: (Very emotional) "I just couldn't hold it in any longer. I didn't want [my] granddaughters and nieces, when they're 21 years old to turn to me and say, 'Why didn't you tell what this man did to you?'"
       We repeatedly asked the White House what it knew about Juanita Broaddrick --

about her character or possible motivation. We got no response.
       We checked with local and federal law enforcement officials, who told us she's a solid citizen with no criminal record and that they take her allegations very seriously.
       Broaddrick knows that some people have suggested her injuries 21 years ago were inflicted not by Clinton, but by her first husband, Gary Hickey.
       Divorce papers obtained by NBC News show that one year after the alleged assault by Clinton, Juanita and Hickey had an altercation. She says Hickey struck her in the mouth. He told NBC News it was an accident. Broaddrick says that is the only time her husband hit her, and there are no records of any earlier incident.
       Could Broaddrick have a financial motive --

is she hoping to cash in? She says she and her husband are financially comfortable, have turned down any offer to tell her story for money, and have no plans for anything else.
       Myers: "No book deal?"
       Broaddrick: "No book deal."
       Myers: "No lawsuit?
       Broaddrick: "Absolutely not. I don't want to sue Bill Clinton and I do not want to write a book."
       Finally, did Broaddrick have any other motivation for going public now with her allegations? Were politics behind the decision? Broaddrick's personal attorney is a Republican state senator in Arkansas, but he says he did not know she decided to go public until she talked to NBC. Broaddrick says she is not registered with any political party --

and the Broadrricks say they have donated money to both Republican and Democratic candidates.
       Myers: "What is the purpose? Do you want to destroy the president?"
       Broaddrick: "No, I don't want to do anything. I do not have an agenda. I want to put all these rumors to rest. I buried this a long time ago, Lisa, and the only thing I'm trying to do now is clear up all these stories."
       But after all this time, how does Juanita Broaddrick feel about Bill Clinton?
       Broaddrick: "I couldn't say it on the air. My hatred for him is overwhelming."
       Overwhelming enough to invent a story, to distort a memory, all to destroy a presidency? Absolutely not, she says.
       Myers: "Twenty years after it happened, having never reported it to authorities, after signing an affidavit denying anything ever happened, now you come forward. You understand how skeptical people may be?"
       Broaddrick: "Certainly I can. But I was also afraid what would happen to me if I came forward. I was afraid that I would be destroyed like so many of the other women have been."

© NBC Dateline 1999
Not for commercial use. For fair use for discussion and educational purposes.