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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Hillary's 'outrage' at Clinton lies
Former US president Bill Clinton lied to his wife Hillary about his affair with Monica Lewinsky until shortly before he had to testify to a grand jury investigation, she says in her eagerly-awaited memoirs.

Hillary Clinton's book cover
Hillary Clinton has been paid a $2.85m advance
The Democratic senator for New York speaks of her "heartbreak and outrage" after he finally came clean about his relationship with the young White House intern.

"The most difficult decisions I have made in my life were to stay married to Bill and to run for the Senate from New York," she writes in her book, Living History.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the memoirs, which do not go on sale until Monday.

For six months after the allegations about the affair surfaced, Mrs Clinton says she believed her husband's protestations of innocence.

He had told her that he had befriended Monica Lewinsky after she asked for help in job-hunting, had talked to her "a few times" and that the relationship had been horribly misconstrued.

THE LEWINSKY SCANDAL
17 Jan 1998: Drudge report reveals Lewinsky affair
17 Aug 1998: Bill Clinton confesses to grand jury
19 Dec 1998: House impeaches Clinton
12 Feb 1999: Clinton survives Senate trial
19 Jan 2001: Clinton leaves office, reaches deal to avoid criminal charges

Then, on the morning of 15 August 1998 - two days before he was due to testify to a grand jury - he woke her up to tell her the truth.

As he paced by the bedside, he "told me for the first time that the situation was much more serious than he had previously acknowledged.

"He now realised he would have to testify that there had been an inappropriate intimacy," she writes, according to AP.

"He told me that what happened between them had been brief and sporadic.

"I was dumbfounded, heart broken and outraged that I'd believed him at all."

Hillary's fury

Mrs Clinton says she could hardly breathe.

"Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him, 'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?'

"I was furious and getting more so by the second. He just stood there, saying over and over again, 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I was trying to protect you and [the couple's daughter] Chelsea.'"

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky - a rare photograph before the scandal broke
For me, the Lewinsky imbroglio seemed like just another vicious scandal manufactured by political opponents
Hillary Clinton

Mrs Clinton said that, before the bedside confession, she had believed he had merely been foolish in paying any attention to Monica Lewinsky.

Months of chill followed, but Mrs Clinton writes that her decision to run for a Senate seat provided some comfort.

"Bill and I were talking again about matters other than the future of our relationship. Over time we both began to relax."

On Whitewater, the other scandal that dogged much of their time in the White House, she is dismissive.

"Whitewater never seemed real because it wasn't," she remarks about the complicated land deal saga.

No charges were ever laid against the Clintons, though the independent counsel's final report questioned her truthfulness.

PR 'mistakes'

In her account, she acknowledges only "public relations mistakes in how we handled the growing controversy".

Mrs Clinton has been paid a near $3m advance in a deal worth a total $8m.

Publisher Simon and Schuster has ordered a first print of one million copies.

The memoirs will be seen by some as an attempt to clear the decks for a possible presidential run in 2008.

She was the first First Lady to run for elected office, defeating a Republican candidate in 2000.

She entered the Senate in the same month her husband left office in January 2001.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Matt Frei
"Then, we could only guess what was said behind closed bedroom doors - now, we know"



SEE ALSO:
Hillary's $8m tale of love and lies
05 Jun 03  |  Americas
Sex, lies and impeachment
22 Dec 98  |  Themes


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