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Friday, June 26, 1998 Published at 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK


World: Americas

Clinton sex scandal back on front pages

The Monica Lewinsky affair continues to dog the President

It has been confirmed that Linda Tripp, one of the central figures in the sex scandal involving President Clinton, will testify before the grand jury investigating the case next week.


[ image: Linda Tripp, to testify]
Linda Tripp, to testify
It was her secret recordings of phone conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky which started the scandal.

She said the tapes showed Mr Clinton had had a sexual affair with Ms Lewinsky and had then asked her to lie about it.

The independent prosecutor, Kenneth Starr will try to present her as an impartial witness, but her credibility has been undermined somewhat by the discovery that she has a police record and that she had been trying to agree a book deal about life inside the Clinton White House.

Media speculation set to begin again

Since the dismissal of Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit last April, President Clinton has experenced a respite from the waves of media speculation about sex in the White House.


[ image: Prosecutor Kenneth Starr]
Prosecutor Kenneth Starr
But although the story has been off the front pages, Kenneth Starr has been steadily pursuing his investigation into the allegations that President Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky when she worked at the White House and then persuaded her to lie about it.

Earlier this month Miss Lewinsky's family -- reportedly fed up with the contradictory public statements being made by her attorney William Ginsburg -- hired a new legal team to represent her.

According to recent stories in the Washington Post both Miss Lewinsky's new lawyers and Mr Starr are optimistic that they can make a deal over the next few weeks that could result in Monica Lewinsky testifying that she had sex with the President.

The Post says Mr Clinton's lawyers have been preparing to counter her testimony by hiring a private detective agency to dig up information about her past.

If Miss Lewinsky does testify she's likely to be questioned about the account of her relationship with the president she gave in 20 hours of telephone conversations secretly recorded by Linda Tripp.

In its latest issue, the magazine US News and World Report says it has access to two hours of the tapes. It describes Miss Lewinsky as being achingly in love with the President and close to the edge of an emotional collapse.





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