A look back at the allegations of rape, sexual assault and affairs against former President Bill Clinton

By Tierney McAfee and Diana Pearl
Updated May 19, 2016 05:35 PM
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Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

Now that his same-party competitors are out of the running, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has been training his fire on his likely opponent in the general election: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. But it’s not just Hillary Trump has in his sights – it’s her husband, too.

After Trump accused former President Bill Clinton of rape in an interview with Fox News Wednesday night, decades-old allegations are back in the spotlight.

The allegations concerning Bill’s sexual conduct came from more than five different women, who all had a moment in the national media in the 1990s.

Because Trump has made clear that he intends to aggressively pursue this line of attack over the campaign’s next six months, we think it’s important to revisit the facts.

Paula Jones

What was alleged?
In 1994, Jones sued then-president Bill for sexual harassment, claiming he had allegedly lured her to a hotel in Little Rock during an Arkansas state conference on May 8, 1991. At the time, he was the state’s governor and she was a clerk. She alleged that he flirted with her, kissed her and then took off his pants and asked her for oral sex, which she said she refused.

What legal action was taken?
Bill was swift and adamant in his denial of the accusations but Jones sued him for sexual harassment on May 6, 1994 – while he was president and just two days before the statute of limitations ran out.

It was this case, which lasted four and a half years and went to the Supreme Court, that led to the uncovering of Bill’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky – which in turn led to his impeachment and subsequent acquittal – and also brought to light other accusations of sexual assault, affairs and in one case, rape.

Eventually, Bill wrote Jones a check for $850,000 – almost half of which came from his own wallet – and the lawsuit was settled. “In the present environment, it’s just better to go ahead and pay it and be done with it,” a Clinton confidant told The Washington Post in 1999.

Where is she now?
Today, Jones continues to speak out against both Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a January 2016 interview with radio host Aaron Klein, she spoke of her disapproval of the prospect of another Clinton in the White House.

“It’s really a sad, sad day if Hillary becomes president, because she has allowed her husband to get by with this type of stuff,” she said. “Why does he have a right to be back in the White House, the people’s house?”

Jones told Klein she felt particularly insulted by Hillary’s support of sexual assault and rape survivors.

“She needs to support all of us and she needs to believe all of us if she says she believes women that claim sexual harassment and they have a right to be heard.”

Juanita Broaddrick

What was alleged?
Broaddrick, a nursing home administrator, claimed that she first met the future president when he visited the nursing home where she worked during his 1978 gubernatorial campaign. He was the state’s attorney general at the time. During this initial meeting, Broaddrick said Bill invited her to his campaign office after she expressed interest in volunteering for him.

On the day they were supposed to meet, Bill allegedly told Broaddrick that they should meet in her hotel’s coffee shop, as he would not be at his office that day. Then, she claims, to avoid the crowd of reporters, he suggested having coffee in her room.

She detailed the alleged encounter in her hotel room in an interview with Dateline in 1999. “[He] turned me around and started kissing me, and that was a real shock,” she said. “I first pushed him away. I just told him, ‘No.’ … He tries to kiss me again. He starts biting on my lip … And then he forced me down on the bed. I just was very frightened. I tried to get away from him. I told him, ‘No.’ … He wouldn’t listen to me.”

That allegedly wasn’t her last interaction with Bill. Three weeks after the 1978 incident, she attended a Clinton fundraiser, she said, adding that she was “in denial” at the time. She said Bill allegedly tried to apologize to her in 1991, saying he was a changed man. Broaddrick said she did not accept his apology.

“I told him to go to hell, and I walked off,” she told Dateline.

What legal action was taken?
She stayed silent for nearly 20 years, but eventually testified in Jones’ lawsuit, though she didn’t allow her name to be revealed. Instead, she was listed as the mysterious “Jane Doe #5.” At the time, she denied the hotel encounter ever happened. However, she later went public with her accusation in the aforementioned Dateline interview.

NBC waited until 1999 to air the interview, saying that reporter Lisa Myers needed more time to fact check and corroborate the story. Many still believe that if the interview had been aired earlier, during Clinton’s impeachment trial, it could have altered the outcome.

For his part, Bill denied Broaddrick’s accusations in 1999 through his personal lawyer, David A. Kendall, who said, “Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false. Beyond that, we’re not going to comment.”

Where is she now?
At 76 years old, Broaddrick continues to speak out about her allegations against Bill. Most recently, she sat down with Klein, saying that The New York Times should speak with all of Bill’s accusers, as they did with the women who have interacted with Donald Trump in a recent story.

“I wish that they would use the same amount of energy to interview the hundreds of women that Bill Clinton has probably spoken bad words about and the many women that he has assaulted,” she said. “I think a person’s own actions and what they do to women speaks much louder than a person’s hearsay and words.”

Broaddrick is also active on Twitter, where she frequently tweets and retweets anti-Clinton images and statements.

Kathleen Willey

What was alleged?
Willey was long a fan of Bill, and after his election, volunteered at the White House. She claims that on Nov. 29, 1993, when she entered the Oval Office to ask for a job, Bill touched her breasts and placed her hand on his groin.

What legal action was taken?
Willey also participated in Jones’ suit, and testified before the grand jury investigating Bill’s relationship with Lewinsky. Willey never filed a suit over her claims that Bill sexual assaulted her, though she did appear on 60 Minutes to make her allegations public. She also filed a suit against Bill and Hillary for allegedly releasing personal letters she sent the then-president.

Willey’s credibility was hurt, however, by the fact that she had lied to the FBI in the past, most notably by claiming she was pregnant with twins when she was in fact not pregnant at all. Plus, another White House volunteer, Harolyn Cardozo, said that Willey had told her that Bill had made a pass at her and that she sounded “excited and pleased,” according to The New York Times.

Where is she now?
Willey is still vocal about her allegations against Bill. She launched an anti-Hillary website, A Scandal a Day, in July 2015, as a space for those who feel they have been “wronged” by the Clintons to open up. She’s also campaigning against Hillary as a part of the Rape Accountability Project for Education PAC, headed by Roger Stone, a Republican strategist.

“This gives me more of an opportunity to get the message out to young voters who weren’t even born or don’t even remember what happened to the women who have suffered,” she told Reuters of her choice to join.

Willey has also spoken out about her allegations in a book, Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump: ‘We Were Not Friends’

Gennifer Flowers

What was alleged?
During Bill’s 1992 presidential campaign, Flowers, a model and actress, came forward to claim that she had had a 12-year, consensual sexual relationship with Bill during his time as Arkansas governor.

Bill and wife Hillary appeared together on 60 Minutes, where he acknowledged he had caused pain in his marriage but flatly denied having an affair with Flowers. He did not, however, deny ever having an extramarital affair in the past, despite being pressed on the issue several times.

What legal action was taken?
Flowers did not take legal action against Bill. When he was under oath during his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case in 1998, he admitted to having one sexual encounter with Flowers, in 1977.

Where is she now?
Flowers resurfaced in 2015 to do an interview on the Aaron Klein Investigative Radio program, where she accused Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary of being “an enabler that has encouraged [Bill] to go out and do whatever he does with women.”

“She always got things on the back of her husband,” Flowers said, adding of Hillary’s presidential campaign, “I think it’s a joke that she would run on women’s issues.”

Monica Lewinsky

What was alleged?
Bill’s affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky during his first term as president rocked the nation and eventually led to his impeachment by the House. Allegations that the then-president had had sexual relations with Lewinsky arose amid the Jones sexual harassment lawsuit in 1998.

What legal action was taken?
Lewinsky herself did not take legal action against Bill. After she was moved to a position at the Pentagon in 1996, the former intern told co-worker Linda Tripp about her 1995 relationship with the president, who at the time was facing sexual harassment charges from Jones. Tripp secretly recorded her conversations with Lewinsky about the affair and later gave the tapes to independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

During a January 1998 deposition in the Jones case, Bill denied, under oath, having “sexual relations” with Lewinsky. In August 1998 he testified before a grand jury that he had in fact had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Later that same day, he appeared on national television and confessed to having an “inappropriate” relationship with Lewinsky. He was eventually impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and subsequently acquitted of those charges by the Senate in 1999.

Where is she now?
Lewinsky has gone on to become an anti-cyberbullying activist.

“Had social media around in 1998, the thought of the hashtags alone makes me want to run to a therapy session,” Lewinsky told PEOPLE in February. “But what would have been positive was that not only would I have been able to see when someone made a supportive comment, but others would have, too. Compassion can be contagious.”

Several other women have also come forward with affair allegations against Bill, including his high school friend Dolly Kyle Browning, former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen, and former Miss Arkansas Sally Perdue.

Bill has not publicly responded to Browning’s or Perdue’s allegations. He has denied the allegations made by Gracen.