Excerpt From President Clinton's Deposition to Paula Jones' Lawyers Regarding Willey
March 15, 1998
On Nov. 29, 1993, Kathleen Willey arrived at the White House to meet with President Clinton and to ask for a full-time job with the federal government.
At the time, her family was going through a rough period: Her husband, Edward E. Willey Jr., had recently declared bankruptcy; and, reportedly, the two were having marital problems.
Both Edward and Kathleen Willey were prominant Democratic fund-raisers and long-time supporters of the president.
Unbeknownst to the president or Ms. Willey, Edward Willey had committed suicide that afternoon.
The following is an excerpt of the president's testimony to Paula Jones' lawyers where it relates to his meeting with Kathleen Willey...
Q. Mr. President, did Kathleen Willey ever give you permission to touch her breasts?
A. No, I never asked, and I never did.
Q. Did she ever give you permission to kiss her on the lips?
Q. Did you ever attempt to kiss her on the lips?
Q. Did you ever attempt to touch her breasts?
Q. Did Kathleen Willey ever give you permission to take her hand and place it on your genitals?
A. No, she didn't.
Q. Did you at any time have any form of sexual relations with Kathleen Willey?
A. No, I didn't.
Q. Do you recall, sir, that you met with Kathleen Willey at or near the time of her husband's death?
A. The meeting I recall occurred before her husband's death. She had requested, my recollection is that she requested several times to come in to see me. She wanted to come in and see me, and kept asking to do that.
MR. [Robert] BENNETT [the president's attorney]: Mr. President, just answer his questions, please, sir.
A. And my and she did come in to see me.
Q. Do you recall whether that particular meeting you just described was before or after her husband's death?
A. That was before her husband's death.
[Here we will skip forward to another relevant section of the president's testimony]
Q. Did she tell you that she and her husband had some large debts to pay?
A. I don't remember that. What I remember is that she was very she was obviously agitated, and I'd never really had a conversation with her before so I, you know, except in public, I'd see her, and she always seemed sort of shy, you know, upbeat, positive, but this day she was clearly concerned, but I don't remember going into any great detail. What I remember her saying is that her family, that there was some family financial issues she had to deal with, and she needed to earn some money to work there, and I had, I don't remember her going into any great detail about it. I don't think she stayed long enough to go into any great detail, but she was clearly upset.
Q. Do you recall, sir, that she said that one reason she was upset was that her husband was missing?
A. No, I didn't know anything about her husband being missing until I learned that, that he was dead.
Q. Do you recall how many days passed before you learned that he had passed away?
A. I don't. I don't think it was very long, but I don't remember.
Q. She took a leave of absence after her husband died, correct?
A. I don't know what she did. When I heard that he was dead and that he apparently killed himself, I called her and expressed my condolences and said that she could take whatever time she needed. It was a brief call, but I remember that call and I don't know exactly what she did, when she came back, or what the other facts are.
Q. Do you recall telling anyone in the White House that as soon as she did come back, you wanted to meet with her?
A. No, but I, I might well have said something like that, I mean, when something that traumatic happens in someone's family, I might have wanted to say something, I just had one of my speech writers' wife just had a stroke. When he came back to work, I said something to him. I might have done it, but I don't remember.
Q. So if someone in the White House testified that you told them you wanted to see Kathleen Willey as soon as she returned from her bereavement, you wouldn't find that implausible testimony?
A. It might well have happened. I just don't remember.
Q. All right. Having read a summary of her testimony, are you aware that she has testified that you kissed her in the hallway between the Oval Office and the private kitchen?
A. I am aware of that.
Q. And you're aware that she testified that you took her hand and put it on your penis?
A. I'm aware of that.
Q. All right, and you deny that testimony?
A. I emphatically deny it. It did not happen.
Q. Do you know why she would tell a story like that if it weren't true?
A. No, sir, I don't. I don't know. She'd been through a lot, and apparently the, the financial difficulties were even greater than she thought they were at the time she talked to me. Her husband killed himself, she's been through a terrible time. I have I can't say. All I can tell you is, in the first place, when she came to see me she was clearly upset. I did to her what I have done to scores and scores of men and women who have worked for me or been my friends over the years. I embraced her, I put my arms around her, I may have even kissed her on the forehead. There was nothing sexual about it. I was trying to help her calm down and trying to reassure her. She was in difficult condition. But I have no idea why she said what she did, or whether she now believes that actually happened. She's been through a terrible, terrible time in her life, and I have nothing else to say. I don't want to speculate about it.
Q. Has she ever asked you to pay her money in return for her not disclosing this story?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you recall at any time in that meeting with Kathleen Willey saying to her, "I wanted to do that for a long time"?
A. No, sir. Let me remind you, Kathleen Willey asked for this meeting with me. I didn't ask for the meeting with her. I didn't say anything like that.
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