Clinton ‘planned to divorce Hillary to be with one of
his many lovers’
Last updated at 20:13pm on 25th May 2007 Comments (6)
Bill Clinton was ready to divorce Hillary to be with one of his lovers, according to a book out next month.The marriage crisis is said to have ended with his wife talking him out of the move, telling a friend “there are worse things than infidelity”.
The story is among a string of revelations in two books detailing Mrs Clinton’s rise to the U.S. Senate and her push for the presidency.
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Bill Clinton planned to divorce Hillary to be with one of his many lovers, claims Carl Bernsten’s book on the couple
Both works document her husband’s many affairs when he was governor of Arkansas.
Carl Bernstein claims in A Woman in Charge that the love of the former president’s life was business executive Marilyn Jo Jenkins.
According to the Watergate journalist, Miss Jenkins was spirited into the governor’s mansion for a final, furtive meeting with him the day he left to claim the White House.
Miss Jenkins is said to have played such a “pivotal role” in Mr Clinton’s life that in 1989 he offered to divorce Hillary to be with her.
The ensuing crisis apparently led to Betsey Wright, Mr Clinton’s chief of staff, taking him to see a therapist.
Mrs Clinton later told her best friend Diane Blair that she believed the presidency would help her marriage because her husband’s “sexual compulsions would be tempered by the White House and the ever-present press corps”.
As Mr Bernstein makes clear, in light of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that turned out to be “a flawed assumption”.
In the 640-page book, Bob Boorstin, who
worked for Mrs Clinton when she was trying to restructure the nation’s healthcare system, blamed her for the collapse of her own plans.
“I find her to be among the most self-righteous people I’ve ever known,” he told Mr Bernstein. “It’s her great flaw.”
Mark Fabiani, who defended the Clintons as White House counsel, said Hillary was “so tortured by the way she’s been treated that she would do anything to get out of the situation.
“If that involved not being fully forthcoming, Mr Fabiani said she would say: ‘I have a reason for not being forthcoming.'”
The second book, Her Way by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr, claims that Mrs Clinton hired a private detective to investigate one of her husband’s mistresses.
According to the book, she ordered the detective to undermine Gennifer Flowers “until she is destroyed”.
The incident took place when Mr Clinton was running for president in 1992.
Her Way looks in detail at Mrs Clinton’s Senate vote in support of the Iraq war, suggesting she may have been motivated by a desire not to abandon her husband’s toughon-Iraq policy and a need “to prove that she was tough”.
Both books were leaked to the Washington Post yesterday ahead of publication next month.
The Post said Mrs Clinton emerges as a “complicated, sometimes compromised figure who tolerated Bill Clinton’s brazen infidelity, pursued her policy and political goals with methodical drive”.
The New York Senator, it said, had “occasionally skirted along the edge of the truth along the way” to power.
It said the books posed “a number of assertions and anecdotes that could confront her campaign with unwelcome questions”.
Last night political analysts said the books would damage Mrs Clinton in the eyes of some voters. They added, however, that most would find little to surprise them in the allegations.
One of the most unsettling charges in Her Way is that the Clintons made a “secret plan” when they were in Arkansas in which they would each have two terms as president.
The authors said that even before the pair married, they formulated a “secret pact of ambition” aimed at the White House.
Mr Bernstein said that both Clintons went to great lengths to “keep the lid on his infidelities”.
On one occasion Hillary personally interviewed one of her husband’s lovers and helped persuade her to sign a statement saying she had never had sex with him.
Mrs Clinton’s Senate office dismissed the books as offering no new material.
Her spokesman Philippe Reines told the Washington Post: “Is it possible to be quoted yawning? If past books on Mrs Clinton were cash for trash, these books are nothing more than cash for rehash.”
Her campaign spokesman, Howard Wolfson, told the paper: “The news here is that it took three reporters nearly a decade to find no news.
“Two overwhelming Senate victories in the toughest media market in the country demonstrated that voters have put these issues behind them.”