| Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters outside her Capitol Hill office about her memoirs. (Reuters)
New York, June 5 (Reuters): The publisher of Hillary Clinton’s memoir wanted people guessing about her revelations before publication, but those plans were spoiled yesterday as some of the book’s most colourful details were splashed around the US media.
Simon & Schuster paid $8 million for Clinton’s inside look at eight tumultuous White House years and planned a media blitz for its release Monday. It gave no advance media copies. But late Tuesday, those plans went awry when The Associated Press ran a story quoting Living History extensively, winning play across the country.
In Washington, Clinton shed no additional light on the revelations, telling reporters she hoped people would “read the book and draw the conclusions that you decide to draw from reading the book.”
Hillary’s Agony — She Reveals Bill’s Betrayal, the New York Post’s front page read yesterday, referring to the former President’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The AP story quotes Hillary Clinton as saying in the book that the former President lied to her about his affair for seven months, finally admitting his dalliance days before he was to testify before a grand jury.
“As a wife, I wanted to wring Bill’s neck,” Clinton, now a Democratic US senator for New York, revealed in the book.
Yesterday, Clinton told local news station NY1 that the book is about more than the Lewinsky debacle. “This is a story about an extraordinary time in my life and the life of our country,” she said. “I touch on the good times, the not-so-good times and try to explain what that experience was like for me.”
In the book, AP said, she recalls August 15, 1998, when her husband “told me for the first time that the situation (with Lewinsky) 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 wrote. “He told me that what happened between them had been brief and sporadic.”
“I 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 Chelsea’,” their teenaged daughter.
Clinton, who once called the scandal part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to disgrace her husband, said that until he confessed, she believed he was being victimised. The former First Lady recalled how the Clintons then slept in separate beds.
The revelations were the most personal ever from Hillary Clinton on the Lewinsky matter.
The leak of the book sparked a potential legal battle. Sources said Simon & Schuster was planning to seek damages from The Associated Press for copyright infringement.
David Tomlin, assistant to the AP’s president, said: “Representatives of Simon & Schuster have been in touch with us. We disagree completely with their legal conclusions concerning our story.”