Lewinsky: Jordan knew my secret

Published Sep. 22, 1998|Updated Sep. 13, 2005

Vernon Jordan and Monica Lewinsky shared a "wink-and-nod understanding" that Lewinsky and President Clinton were involved in a sexual relationship, according to interviews Lewinsky gave to Kenneth Starr's lawyers during three days in July.

Jordan, who is one of Clinton's closest friends, was called upon last year to help Lewinsky find a job in New York and, later, to help her find an attorney after she was subpoenaed in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

Summaries of Lewinsky's lengthy interviews with Starr's office were included in 3,183 pages of grand jury testimony and other documents released as evidence Monday in an investigation to determine whether Clinton committed perjury when he said he and Lewinsky did not have any sexual relations.

Implicit in the conversations Lewinsky had with Jordan was an understanding of the urgency that Lewinsky leave town.

"The president said that if Lewinsky was in New York the Jones lawyers might not call; that the sooner Lewinsky moved the better; and that maybe the lawyers would ignore her," the report said. In turn, it described the efforts to which Jordan went in securing Lewinsky a job in New York.

Jordan "probably knew" about her sexual relationship with the president, Lewinsky told prosecutors during the interviews. Lewinsky never explicitly told him about their physical relationship, but she did tell him about their "phone sex" conversations.

"Jordan replied that it was all right if the president talked to people," the report said, suggesting that nothing incriminating could result from phone sex. "Jordan said that there were only two important questions: "Did you have sex with the president?' (and) "Did he ask you for sex?' "

Lewinsky answered no to both questions. She told prosecutors she thought Jordan was trying to find out how she would answer those questions in testimony.

Lewinsky further hinted at the nature of her relationship with the president when she asked Jordan to tell Clinton that she had been subpoenaed in the Jones case on Dec. 19, 1997.

"Give him a hug for me," she reportedly told him.

"I don't hug guys," Lewinsky said he responded, and then he gave her a playful slap on her back side, "as if to say, "Get out of here, kid.' "

Even though Jordan helped Lewinsky retain attorney Frank Carter to represent her after she was subpoenaed, she continued to rely on Jordan's advice, the report said.

Lewinsky emphasized that Jordan never asked her to write a false statement in an affidavit to the Jones lawyers denying the affair, but he did ask to see it before she signed it. Jordan gave his approval, which she equated with the president's own approval, she told prosecutors.

When Lewinsky told Jordan she had been offered a job at Revlon in New York, he essentially ended their "working relationship" in a curt meeting where he quoted to her a Biblical verse about helping people, the report said.