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Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK

Hillary - a 'woman wronged'

Hillary Clinton has put on a brave face on several occasions

As President Clinton tried to repair the damage to his family life after admitting his affair with Monica Lewinsky, his wife Hillary said she still loved him.

Watch Philippa Thomas's report from Washington
She gave up her own career as a lawyer to support her husband's political campaign. And she has had to speak publicly in support of him, concerning their personal lives, on several occasions.

[ image: January 1992:
January 1992: " I love him and I respect him"
In 1992, when Gennifer Flowers, a cabaret singer, claimed she had had a 12-year affair with Mr Clinton, it nearly destroyed his presidential chances.

Mrs Clinton rescued her husband by going on television to demonstrate her support, making the now famous reference to the country song, Stand by your man.

And she stood by her husband sexual harassment allegations made by Paula Jones, and went on television once again to deny the Monica Lewinsky scandal on her husband's behalf.

In the beginning

The victory party that followed the 1996 presidential election was a moment of triumph for both of the Clintons: a highlight of the political partnership that has taken them from Little Rock, Arkansas, to the White House.

[ image: After 1996 victorious presidential election]
After 1996 victorious presidential election
Hillary Rodham Clinton is a trailblazer in her own right - a talented lawyer who has done pioneering work on civil rights and childcare.

She is also, of course, the victim, the woman wronged. Unaware that as he returned to Washington, Bill Clinton was enjoying an intimate relationship with a White House intern, half her age.

From the start, she has insisted that she is not the downtrodden wife.

Since her marriage, she has herself entered political life.

President Clinton appointed her to head his controversial health care reform in the early years of his presidency. The scheme was meant to provide all Americans with health insurance.

However, both the scheme and Hillary's appointment were widely criticised. The reform failed to pass through Congress in 1993, and the following year the First Lady withdrew from public life.

However she later became embroiled in the Whitewater property scandal. In January 1996, she was forced to stand before a federal criminal grand jury to answer questions about how some billing records that had been missing for several years had reappeared in the offices of her law firm.

[ image: Hillary Clinton has carved out a role for herself]
Hillary Clinton has carved out a role for herself
More recently, she has returned to the public stage, and has been actively promoting education and childcare.

She has traveled abroad considerably in recent years to India, Africa, Latin America and China, promoting health, welfare and women's issues.

Personal drama

Mrs Clinton has spoken out against her husband's enemies, whom she says have pursued their allegations to wreck his career.

Hillary Clinton: "I am proud of his leadership"
After her husband's admission of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, she knew everybody was watching her. Some cynics have spoken about a marriage of convenience, others are asking how can she possibly stay.

"It is the only thing that people in Washington are talking about, and I have a feeling that around the country it is the same thing. Everybody wants to know how does she feel, what is really going on inside Hillary Clinton," says Leslie Milk from The Washingtonian magazine.

Hillary Clinton, 26 January 1992: "I'm not sitting here like some little woman, standing by my man like Tammy Wynette"
She is said by friends to be utterly furious with her husband in private but determined that they should not give in to his political enemies.

Many believe that her husband's political future could hinge on whether she decides to continue to stick by him or not.

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In this section

Profile: Lewinsky sees name in lights

Key figures in the Senate trial

Vernon Jordan: Smooth operator

Sidney Blumenthal: Starr witness

Kenneth Starr: Bullyboy or crusader?

Betty Currie: Innocent or enabler?

President Clinton's best defence

Tough Hyde

Sex and the White House

Linda Tripp: Friend and foe