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Friday, September 11, 1998 Published at 21:16 GMT


Ten encounters of a sexual kind



The following are excerpts from the Starr Report about President Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky:

Ms Lewinsky's Account: The cigar

According to Ms Lewinsky, she and the President had ten sexual encounters, eight while she worked at the White House and two thereafter. The sexual encounters generally occurred in or near the private study off the Oval Office - most often in the windowless hallway outside the study. During many of their sexual encounters, the President stood leaning against the doorway of the bathroom across from the study, which, he told Ms Lewinsky, eased his sore back.

Ms Lewinsky testified that her physical relationship with the President included oral sex but not sexual intercourse. According to Ms Lewinsky, she performed oral sex on the President; he never performed oral sex on her. Initially, according to Ms Lewinsky, the President would not let her perform oral sex to completion. In Ms Lewinsky's understanding, his refusal was related to "trust and not knowing me well enough." During their last two sexual encounters, both in 1997, he did ejaculate.

According to Ms Lewinsky, she performed oral sex on the President on nine occasions. On all nine of those occasions, the President fondled and kissed her bare breasts. He touched her genitals, both through her underwear and directly, bringing her to orgasm on two occasions. On one occasion, the President inserted a cigar into her vagina. On another occasion, she and the President had brief genital-to-genital contact.

Whereas the President testified that "what began as a friendship came to include [intimate contact]," Ms Lewinsky explained that the relationship moved in the opposite direction: "[T]he emotional and friendship aspects . . . developed after the beginning of our sexual relationship."

The President: 'No sex of any kind'

In the Jones deposition on January 17, 1998, the President denied having had "a sexual affair," "sexual relations," or "a sexual relationship" with Ms Lewinsky. He noted that "[t]here are no curtains on the Oval Office, there are no curtains on my private office, there are no curtains or blinds that can close [on] the windows in my private dining room," and added: "I have done everything I could to avoid the kind of questions you are asking me here today. . . ."

During the deposition, the President's attorney, Robert Bennett, sought to limit questioning about Ms Lewinsky. Mr. Bennett told Judge Susan Webber Wright that Ms Lewinsky had executed "an affidavit which [Ms. Jones's lawyers] are in possession of saying that there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton."

The President did not dispute his legal representative's assertion that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had had "absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form," nor did he dispute the implication that Ms Lewinsky's affidavit, in denying "a sexual relationship," meant that there was "absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form."

What constitutes sex?

Testifying before the grand jury on August 17, 1998, seven months after his Jones deposition, the President acknowledged "inappropriate intimate contact" with Ms Lewinsky but maintained that his January deposition testimony was accurate.

The President refused to answer questions about the precise nature of his intimate contacts with Ms Lewinsky, but he did explain his earlier denials. As to his denial in the Jones deposition that he and Ms Lewinsky had had a "sexual relationship," the President maintained that there can be no sexual relationship without sexual intercourse, regardless of what other sexual activities may transpire. He stated that "most ordinary Americans" would embrace this distinction.

The President also maintained that none of his sexual contacts with Ms Lewinsky constituted "sexual relations" within a specific definition used in the Jones deposition. Under that definition:

[A] person engages in "sexual relations" when the person knowingly engages in or causes - contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person . . . "Contact" means intentional touching, either directly or through clothing.

In the President's view, "any person, reasonable person" would recognise that oral sex performed on the deponent falls outside the definition. If Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on the President, then - under this interpretation - she engaged in sexual relations but he did not. The President refused to answer whether Ms Lewinsky in fact had performed oral sex on him. He did testify that direct contact with Ms Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia would fall within the definition, and he denied having had any such contact.

Physical evidence: The DNA

Physical evidence conclusively establishes that the President and Ms Lewinsky had a sexual relationship. After reaching an immunity and cooperation agreement with the Office of the Independent Counsel on July 28, 1998, Ms Lewinsky turned over a navy blue dress that she said she had worn during a sexual encounter with the President on February 28, 1997.

According to Ms Lewinsky, she noticed stains on the garment the next time she took it from her closet. From their location, she surmised that the stains were the President's semen.

Initial tests revealed that the stains are in fact semen. Based on that result, the OIC asked the President for a blood sample.

By conducting the two standard DNA comparison tests, the FBI Laboratory concluded that the President was the source of the DNA obtained from the dress. According to the more sensitive RFLP test, the genetic markers on the semen, which match the President's DNA, are characteristic of one out of 7.87 trillion Caucasians.

Click here to access the BBC's mirror site of the Starr Report





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In this section

Highlights: The Starr report

Ten encounters of a sexual kind

Keeping it quiet

He called her 'Sweetie'

Monica wants a job

Monica: Gifts 'meant a lot to me'