March 15, 1998
Excerpts From Paula Jones Testimony
WASHINGTON -- Following are excerpts of testimony by Paula Corbin Jones when she was questioned on Nov. 12, 1997, by President Clinton's lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, in Federal District Court in Arkansas:
Q. Now when you first went in the room, who spoke first? You or the Governor?
A. The Governor.
Q. What did he say? Do you remember?
A. Yeah. He seemed like he was unloosening his tie as soon as I -- you know, he came to the door and opened it because it was already ajar and I knocked on the door facing and he opened up the door and it seemed like he was loosening his tie with one hand and he acted like he had known me for years. You know. Right off the bat. And I had never met the guy in my life. And he shook my hand. And he introduced himself or whatever.
Q. How did he introduce himself?
A. "I'm Bill Clinton." I think it was that. I don't think he said, "I'm the Governor." "I'm Bill Clinton."
Q. And then what happened?
A. "Nice to meet you" or whatever. And then we proceeded to -- I proceeded to go on in. And went-- --
Q. Did you say something to him when he said, "Hi. I'm Bill Clinton"?
A. I said, "I'm Paula Corbin" or whatever.
A. And I think he had said something about -- he asked me where I was worked and I told him I was over at AIDC and he said that he knew -- Dave Herrington was a good friend of his and he had appointed him to that job. And then when we went in, on, a couple of minutes, we went over to the window because there's a pretty view up there, because it was really high up. And that's when he made his first pass at me at the window.
Q. O.K. Tell me exactly what he did.
A. He sat down on the windowsill, leaned up against it with his bottom. And I was standing in front of him just talking because I was the one looking out the window. And he proceeded to -- he just reached right over while we were talking and we were just talking in general and I don't know exactly everything we were talking about but nothing sexual. And --
Q. Do you remember anything you were talking about?
A. I think we were talking about the job or whatever and about working with the state or something. I really don't know exactly, but it wasn't nothing bad that we were talking about. Because what was so shocking to me is I'm sitting here talking to this man but nothing related to what's on his mind and he's over here while he's answering my questions pulling me over like he has done this a million times and grabs me and pulls me over to him to the windowsill and tries to kiss me and just didn't ask me or nothing. And I was just really shocked. And I pulled away. That was the first time I pulled away. I said, "No." I said, "What are you doing?"
Q. Now he was still --
A. I was so scared and nervous.
Q. Was his back to the window?
Q. So why didn't you just go right out the door?
A. You know what? This is the Governor we're talking about. I had just met the man. A state trooper sitting outside the door with a gun. I know that. I'm terrified. And so what I'm thinking next is what was happening here and what am I going to do next to get out of this room? Is he going to stop here? I didn't know but that would be it. But the man kept on and on until he dropped his pants. That's why I didn't run out the door. I was scared.
Q. After he made a pass at you, you didn't go right out the door, did you?
A. No. Because the state trooper was out there and I knew he was out there.
And I did not know but what they were taping and had him out there to -- all kinds of stuff was going through my mind. Because I'm thinking, this is not happening to me. This cannot be happening to me. And I thought if I run out that door, he's going to catch me, because Bill will know I'm fixing to run tell somebody. I'm not that stupid. I was not going to run out the door. I was scared to death.
Q. So instead of running out the door, what did you do?
A. I just moved away from him and got completely away from him. He was still sitting on the windowsill.
Q. All right. And then what happened?
A. And I went way over like to the middle of the living area. And I was talking to him about Hillary. I mean, I was just kind of trying to ignore what he had just done. And I was talking to him about Hillary and she was working with children's things or something, children's schools at the time, and I remember I was complimenting her on how she was really good with children. And the next, you know --
Q. Then what happened?
A. I was -- he came over by the wingback chair close to where I was at. Then it's like he wasn't even paying attention to what I was saying to him. Then he goes, "Oh, I love the way your hair flows down your back. And I was watching you," and stuff like that. Downstairs. And then he did it again. Then he started -- he pulled me over to him while he was leaning up against the wingback chair and he took his hands and was running them up my culottes. And they were long. They were down to my knees. They were long, dressy culottes. And he had his hand up, going up to my middle pelvic area, and he was kissing me on the neck, you know, and trying to kiss me on the lips and I wouldn't let him. And then I backed back. I said, "Stop it. You know, I'm not this kind of girl." I mean. And it still -- and then I ran right over to where the couch was. I thought what am I going to do? I was trying to collect my thoughts. I did not know what to do. I was trying to collect my thoughts. I did not know what to do. After the second time -- after the first time, I had rebuffed him. And then when I got over there and I kind of sat right there by the end of the couch on the -- seemed like on the armchair part. And the next thing you know it, I turn around because he was kind of back over here, and he came over there, pulled his pants down, sat down and asked me to perform oral sex.
Q. What did he say exactly?
A. He asked me would I kiss it. He goes -- you know, I can see the look on his face right now. He asked me, "Would you kiss it for me?" I mean, it was disgusting.
Q. Were those the actual words he used?
Q. He didn't use other words?
A. I think that was it.
Q. O.K. And what did you say?
A. I said, "No. I'm not that kind of girl." And that's when I jumped up. And that's when I said, "I'm going to get in trouble. I've got to be going.
I've got to get back to my registration desk." And then he said -- then he was -- you know, you could tell he was embarrassed and everything. And he was pulling up his pants. And he said "Well, if you have any trouble, you have Dave Herrington call me immediately." And you could tell he was so embarrassed because of what he had just done, because I had rejected him.
. . .
Q. Did he physically hurt you?
A. Well, if you want to call grabbing me and -- yeah, he could have, I mean, very easily. It didn't -- he grabbed me tight to try to get me to -- to brace me and everything.
Q. Uh-huh. So what you're saying is that he physically assaulted you. Is that what you're saying?
Mr. Campbell: Objection to the extent that calls for a legal conclusion.
By Mr. Bennett:
Q. Are you saying he physically assaulted?
A. He didn't hit me or nothing like that, but he, you know, pulled me up. He had to touch me to do that and he did that without me wanting him to touch me.
Q. Did he require you to do something against your will?
A. He wanted me to do something against my will.
Q. That's not my question. Did he require you to do something against your will?
A. Well, he tried to kiss me against my will. Is that what you're saying? I'm not quite sure.
Q. You said when he --
A. Absolutely, but he still wanted me to do it. Three times he tried to make me do it against my will. I would say so after the first time of rejection, yes, he did.
Q. Did he make you kiss his penis?
Q. Did you kiss his penis?
Q. All right. What other damages or injuries did you sustain?
A. He threatened me about -- when I opened the door, he held his hand up there and said, "You're a smart girl. Let's keep this between ourselves." That's a threat. He don't want me to tell anybody.
(Copyright © 1998 The New York Times Company)