Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn Dappe

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 8:18 am


My dad, Gene Flowers, who died in 1973. His personality was just as captivating as his good looks.

I was always so bundled up in frigid Alaska that Mother called me her "Little Eskimo."

Look at all those freckles!

Even as an angelic-looking six year old I had dreams of fame, but I never anticipated notoriety!

In costume, ready to perform.

Posing with my mother, Mary, right after I recorded my first record, "There Ought to be a Law." I insisted on the sunglasses because now that I was a recording star, I was just sure someone would recognize me!

Showing off my new bicycle.

Mother and Daddy together in the 1950s.

I won a trophy for this performance in a talent show when I was ten years old.

For a time, cheerleading was more important to me than singing. I'm the one in front, doing the splits.

I was president of the Young Arkansans for Rockefeller while Winthrop Rockefeller was running for governor. That's me, right smack in the middle, with my boyfriend, Joe Clifton, standing behind me.

In late-sixties' formal finery for a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity formal with Joe.

My dad (on the right) and my Uncle Curt Horne were known as "High" and "Pressure." Daddy was "Pressure."

I couldn't wait to graduate and move on to more exciting things.

Joe and I (on the left) cut loose and went wild once we reached the University of Arkansas. This picture was taken at another SAE frat party -- not quite as formal this time!

"Easy Living" was one of the first bands I organized and managed.

In the recording studio during the early days of my singing career.

As back-up singers for the Roy Clark Show, our threesome was called "Fanci."

Doing what I love best -- singing.

This is another of my bands. We sang together during the early seventies.

The Justice Building in Little Rock, where Bill Clinton made his first move on me -- asking for my phone number. The Capitol Building is in the background.

This is the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock, where Bill and Hillary lived. I performed at a party there, and Bill tried to persuade me to sneak into the men's room and make love.

Bill bought this little black nightie for me. He liked me to model it for him, but it never stayed on long!

My apartment, #2J in the Quapaw Tower, with the balcony visible just above the tree in the center of the picture. I would stand on the balcony when I knew Bill was coming over and wait for him to jog into view.

When I would spot Bill jogging down the street, I'd race downstairs and prop this side door open with a newspaper so he could sneak in unnoticed.

This is the bed that Bill and I spent so many happy hours in. Bill loved to have me tie his hands to the metal posts.

I liked to meet Bill at the door wearing nothing but this white bustier, garter and high heels. It was his favorite outfit!

This picture was taken in Bob Guccione's house in New York. I'm seated at a piano that belonged to Judy Garland. It's completely covered with gold leaf.

With actress Ruta Lee at the Thalian Ball in Hollywood.

Left to right: me, Jessica Hahn, and Rita Jenrette on the set of HBO's Dream On. Jessica grabbed a lot of attention with her see-through top.

Autographing copies of He Said, She Said. I signed over 700 magazines that day.

Morton Downey Jr. is as sweet as he can be. I appeared on his radio show -- we really hit it off.

Enjoying a quiet dinner in Madrid, Spain, with my boyfriend, Finis Shelnutt. Finis has stood by me through thick and thin.

One of my many appearances on radio talk shows. I enjoy doing radio shows. Talking with people one on one helps dispel a lot of the myths created about me.

A rare relaxing moment at my mom and dad's home on the lake.

Underneath all that makeup, Tammy Faye Bakker is real cute. But even with the makeup she's a sweet and genuine person.

My wonderful, supportive parents: Mary and Jim Hirst.

In Madrid, surrounded by the ever-so- polite and respectful Spanish press in the studio of the De Tu a Tu Show.

Actor Rip Taylor (left) has become a favorite of mine and Finis. We met him at the Thalian Ball in 1992.

For Bill's birthday in August 1994, I imitated Marilyn Monroe's tribute to John F. Kennedy and sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President." Comedy Central came up with the idea, and it was a lot of fun. (Photo by Frank Micelotta)

I met my dear friend Marjorie Moore when we were both working at the Cipango Club. Margie has been a rock of support since the day we met.

Every once in a while, Finis and I sneak away for a little R & R.

I treasure every moment I spend with my mother, like this one at the Thalian Ball in 1994. Even though she didn't approve of my affair with Bill, she has always been one of my greatest defenders.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 8:24 am


The '80s were coming to an end, and though I didn't know it, so was my amazing love affair with Bill Clinton. I had been singing in various places around Little Rock, but had finally signed a contract with the Excelsior Hotel. I was excited about this booking. The Excelsior was the nicest hotel in town, full of wonderful memories for me, since Bill and I had rendezvoused there many times. I was looking forward to a long-term arrangement with the hotel. By then, I had been back in Little Rock four years, and this was by far the most lucrative engagement I had secured yet.

During this time, a friend approached me and suggested a blind date with a buddy of his. I said I wasn't interested. I hated blind dates. Besides, Bill and I were heavily involved again, and I couldn't have cared less about meeting someone else.

The same friend also wanted to introduce me to a man who was trying to get funding to build a music theater in Harrison, Arkansas, a small town in the Ozarks just south of Branson, Missouri. I was always interested in hearing about new business opportunities. Even though I planned to be at the Excelsior a long time, it never hurt to make new contacts that could payoff in the future. So I agreed to a luncheon to hear about the new theater.

We all met at Fu-Lin's Chinese Restaurant on South Victory Street in Little Rock, just a block away from the governor's office. Halfway through my chow mein, I started asking the gentleman questions about the plans for his music theater. His blank stare told me he had no idea what I was talking about. I looked quizzically at my friend and his guilty smile gave it away. I thought this was the business lunch, but it was really the blind date.

I chuckled to myself and turned back to my "date," looking at him from a different perspective. What I saw intrigued me. His name was Finis Shelnutt, and he had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen -- real cute! His tweed jacket gave him a comfortable and casual air. And, although he was recently divorced and seemed vulnerable, he also appeared to be solid and stable.

I asked about his unusual name. It seems he was the last-born in a family of four boys. His mother decided this would be her last child, and while she was pregnant she announced to her husband that she was finis. To emphasize her point, she put it in writing -- on the birth certificate. We both had a good laugh over that and I found myself drawn to this man more than I had been drawn to anyone in years. (Although it wouldn't have meant anything to me at the time, I found out much later that Finis' former brother-in-law is Webster Hubbell, Bill's best friend and golfing buddy who went to Washington with him, but left in disgrace and is now facing prison. Webb was also one of Hillary's law partners.)

Finis Shellnut -- Seth Ward's son-in-law, and the man who coordinated Barry Seal's airborne cash deliveries.
-- Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presidency was Co-opted by the CIA, by Terry Reed & John Cummings

We finished lunch, and even though I had been duped, I didn't mind. I'd enjoyed meeting Finis and hoped I would see him again. As we left the restaurant, he showed me his pride and joy: a black Porsche 9285. I smiled to myself, "Boy, if he's trying to impress me he's doing a great job!"

I thought sure Finis would call right away and ask me out, but he didn't. In fact, I didn't hear a word from him for nearly two months. My friend who had introduced us called me one day to ask if Finis had been in touch with me. I told him no, and said I was surprised and a little disappointed. I thought we had hit it off the day we met and couldn't understand why he hadn't called. So our matchmaking friend got busy again.

It was Christmas time, and within a few days I finally heard from Finis. He called to invite me to our friend's Christmas party. He also asked me to go to his company Christmas party with him. He was a vice president with Southtrust Bank of Alabama and ran its investment office in Little Rock. Although I was happy he called, I was real busy preparing for my booking at the Excelsior Hotel and needed to rehearse every night. Finis was insistent, though. He told me he would start the party two hours earlier than he had planned and take me home whenever I needed to go. How could I resist such an accommodating offer?

The party was lovely, good food, good wine, and a good view of his cute little butt as he excused himself to go to the men's room. (Hmm ... maybe there was a third date in this after all.) True to his word, he brought me home early so I could rehearse. He apologized for not contacting me sooner, and shocked me when he told me the reason he hadn't called before was he didn't think someone as beautiful as I was could be interested in him. The man had a way with words.

During the twelve years Bill and I had been together, I had met many interesting men, but not one of them had made my heart do flip-flops like Bill had done. Not until Finis. I was starting to like everything about him: the fact that he was successful in the fast-paced, chance-taking financial world; the way he willingly changed the party plans so I could be included; his gentlemanly manners whenever we were together; and of course, his cute little butt. This guy was something else.

We started seeing each other regularly. He would come to the Excelsior and stay until I finished singing, at midnight, even though he had to get up early for work. He was quite attentive and eager to spend lots of time with me. As we grew closer to each other, I had a strong feeling this relationship might work out.

Finis was so different from all the other men I had dated in my futile attempt to disconnect myself from Bill. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about him ... until I put my fingers on "Big Tex." I knew there was something special about that man.

I had a big problem, though. I knew I couldn't give a relationship with Finis a fair shot as long as my mind was clouded with Bill Clinton. Bill still had a lot of influence on me, and I needed to get away from him so I could have a clear head for this relationship -- to see if it had the potential I thought it did.

For the first time in my life, I started to seriously consider settling down. I was even open to giving up my singing career. It had never been easy to date men who worked during the day when I worked at night. Going out with men who worked daytime jobs usually consisted of their coming to the club where I was singing at night. Finis went through that, spending a lot of time at the Excelsior, and I know it was hard on him. I actually began thinking seriously about getting out of the entertainment business.

But first, I had to do something about Bill. Even though I knew what my decision would have to be, it was excruciatingly difficult. We had been together twelve years, and the affection we had for one another ran deep. I forced myself to look at our relationship realistically and honestly. Although we'd shared twelve wonderful years of romantic involvement, nothing was ever going to come of it. I had known that for years, but I loved him enough to not let it matter. Now there was a new man in my life, and I couldn't let my affection for Bill jeopardize the new and exciting relationship that was building with Finis. Hard as it was, I made my decision.

Bill came to see me one night, and we made love for what I was determined would be the last time. But once in his arms, I could feel my resolve melting. How could I give this up? This was the man I had been closer to than any other. We knew each other so well and had shared so many memories. Did I really want it to end? I took a deep breath, drew on every ounce of inner strength, and forced myself to do what I knew I had to. As he was leaving, we sat on the couch and I pulled him close and gently told him it would be our last time together. I told him I had met someone I cared for, someone I wanted to devote myself to. We both knew I couldn't do that as long as part of me still belonged to him.

He was quiet for a moment, then tears began to roll down his face. Like me, he couldn't believe the inevitable was at hand -- our years of love and passion had finally come to an end. He choked back his tears as he told me, "I understand, and I want you to do what you need to do for your life." As strong as I was determined to be, I burst into tears, too. Bill Clinton had been the major focus of my life for so long, and severing the bond between us was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I knew I had to do this. I had to make the break and move on, but his pain hurt me badly. If there was ever any doubt that I filled a tremendous void in his life, he erased it that night. As he left, he turned to me and said softly, "If you ever change your mind and you ever want me to come back, all you have to do is call me."

I felt terrible after he left -- hurt by the break-up and worried about him. He may have had flings with other women besides me, but I knew in my heart I was special to this man, as he was to me. But I had grown and matured. I had now experienced enough to know I needed someone in my life on a regular basis. And that someone could not be a married man. Here I was, proceeding with my life with someone I cared about, looking forward to a wonderful life, and Bill was still stuck in an unhappy marriage, and he didn't have me to fill that void anymore.

He pleaded with me to keep in touch, saying, "Please, let's talk; let's just talk by phone. Let me know what you're doing, what's going on." I was glad he said that. I couldn't imagine cutting off all communication with him -- it would have been like slicing off an arm. So we did talk frequently. I was always happy to hear from him and was gratified that he seemed to be getting his life in order and moving forward with his political plans. More often than not, when we talked he would try to convince me that we should get back together, but I wasn't willing to do that. Finis and I were becoming increasingly close, and I didn't want to jeopardize that.

Several months after Bill and I broke up, Finis and I spent an afternoon at the horse races in Hot Springs, and I saw Bill for the first time since our final night together. Finis had gone to get us something to drink, and I was sitting alone in our box. I heard a buzz in the conversation around me, then heard someone say, "There's the governor." I turned around, and, sure enough, there was Bill, smiling in my direction. He came over and sat down next to me. As usual, people were staring, and he couldn't have cared less. I was relieved Finis wasn't there. I hadn't told him of my relationship with Bill and didn't think it was the most appropriate time to enlighten him. Bill and I had a short, but friendly conversation. As he left, he smiled, but with a wistful look in his eyes.

* * * *

Bill was in the last stages of his final campaign for governor in 1990 when a former employee, Larry Nichols, filed a lawsuit against him. Bill had fired Larry for purportedly making unauthorized long-distance telephone calls to the Contras, and Larry retaliated later by filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit charged Bill with using state funds to finance his romantic trysts with several unnamed women and five whom he specifically identified -- including me.

Larry Nichols -- Arkansas State employee who "framed" Steve Clark and who later exposed Clinton's philandering.
-- Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presidency was Co-opted by the CIA, by Terry Reed & John Cummings

I knew nothing about the lawsuit until Finis called to tell me his investment firm had received a press release listing all five women. Investment firms receive all sorts of odd information. So Finis called and said rather ominously, "I need to talk to you about something."

When he brought the press release over and I read it, my heart sank. I told him, "Look, I don't want you to be worried about this. I'm sorry it's come into your office." Naturally, his office was all abuzz about it. I said again, "Let's just not worry about it," but the tears began rolling down my face. Finis and I had been dating for almost a year, and things had been going smoothly. I could just picture it all going to hell, and I was extremely upset. He was amazingly restrained and didn't ask me directly if it was true. He didn't push the issue. Instead, he was very comforting and I was grateful to him for that.
As soon as Finis left, I headed for the telephone to call Bill. But I stopped short and started thinking. My friends had been telling me for years that I should tape my telephone conversations with Bill just in case anything bad ever happened and I needed some proof of our relationship. I had always laughed them off; this was a man I had loved and cherished for years ... I knew he would never hurt me. But what about his friends and colleagues? My devotion to Bill had blinded me to the reports and rumors that had begun to surface about what happened to those who tried to cross or became a threat to that all-powerful Arkansas power structure that stood behind Bill Clinton. Whenever these things came up in our discussions, he always had an excuse or an explanation. And I never wanted to push it. But, for the first time, I thought it might be wise to take my friends' advice.

I had a little tape recorder that I used when I did verbal contracts over the phone for singing engagements. Before I dialed Bill's number, I hooked it up to the telephone and turned it on. I wasn't entirely sure how it could help me, but I knew I didn't like what was developing. My name surfacing publicly all of a sudden made me nervous ... especially since Bill and I weren't even seeing each other any longer!

When I reached Bill, he explained the whole thing away, reminding me he was in the midst of a gubernatorial race and pointing out that this lawsuit was just a ploy to discredit him. He felt sure it was a set-up by his opponent, Sheffield Nelson, to make him look bad and to cost him the election. He succeeded in calming me down, and promised he'd take care of things. Which is exactly what he did. He had the lawsuit moved into the court of a judge he had appointed, the judge sealed the case, denied the subpoenas, and it was eventually dismissed. Bill had been governor most of the years since 1978, and he was The Power; there weren't many strings he couldn't pull.

None of this seemed to have any effect on the election. Bill won, and things quieted down again.
I naively thought everything would be okay. I even felt a little silly about taping the conversation and told myself I'd been watching too many movies.

* * * *

Although I didn't know it at the time, my life was beginning to change. I was still singing at the Excelsior, but my nights had been cut back. The economy was starting its slide into recession, and the entertainment business was suffering. Most places were cutting corners, using bands on a part-time basis or maybe just a piano player. For the first time in my career, I was having difficulty making enough money singing to support myself.

During this time, I received some devastating news: Mother had cancer. She had found a lump in her breast and the doctor wanted to do a biopsy. My stepfather called me at 9:30 the morning of the biopsy and said, "It is cancer and they're going to do the mastectomy tomorrow morning." I lined up someone to substitute at the club for me and got in the car and drove up there.

I remember how long the drive seemed that day. It was hot and raining, and the roads were slick. I was so upset, screaming at the top of my lungs asking God, "Why are you doing this to us?" I felt so angry. My daddy had been taken from me when he was only 49; my mom was not even 60 yet. I thought, "Why don't you just give the cancer to me, God?"

At 3:30 that afternoon, I walked into her hospital room and said, "Well, we're going to have to just kick the devil right in the ass on this one." She agreed with me that she needed to be strong, but that was when she was still feeling strong psychologically and physically, before the surgery and all those horrible chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

I knew it was also important that I be strong. When she opened her eyes and looked into my face, I wanted her to see that strength. My stepfather and I took turns staying with her so that one of us was always in the room if she needed something or wanted a hand to hold.

Part of being strong was trying to maintain a sense of humor, because my mom always had a great one. She had the mastectomy on her birthday and I remember saying to her later, "Well, Mom, you sure know how to have a birthday." She laughed and said, "Boy, isn't that the truth?"

We looked for things to laugh about, but it wasn't easy. All I wanted to do was cry. I couldn't eat and I didn't sleep well. I quit wearing mascara during that time because I was afraid if I broke down and cried when I was out of the room, she would see the black smudges under my eyes and know.

It was a traumatic time for all of us. She went through a yearlong series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and she needed a lot of emotional support to get through the ordeal. We'd talk on the phone, and I'd tell her to stay strong, to not get weak-minded. Then I'd hang up the phone and cry my eyes out. If I could have taken that cancer from her body and put it in mine, I would have gladly endured all of that pain for her. I would have done it in a second.

People have asked me if what I've gone through over my relationship with Bill Clinton and its repercussions is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. And, although it's been horrible and I've felt lonely and betrayed, it's never been anywhere near as bad as what I went through when Mother had that cancer. I'm so grateful that today she is cancer-free and enjoying every bit of her life.

During the time of her recovery and treatments, I was trying to spend as much time as I could with her, but I was getting a little desperate. Little Rock was close enough that I could drive to be with her in just a few hours, but I wasn't making enough money there. If I moved back to Dallas or someplace else where I had a better chance of full-time work, I would be so far away from her that I couldn't see her as often as I needed to. Plus, there was Finis to think about. Even though we had weathered the crisis over Larry Nichols' press release, our relationship wasn't as rock-solid as it had been earlier. The foundation of trust I had built with him was showing a few cracks. I knew if I left town, our romance would fall apart completely.

I had to find a way to stay in Little Rock. So I called Bill and asked if he could help me get a state job. I figured if I had a steady job I could stay in Little Rock, be near Mother, and sing whenever I could to supplement my income. He said he would get to work on it right away. "I'll call Judy Gaddy," he said. Judy's husband, Bill Gaddy, was the head of the employment security division for state government, and Judy was a governor's aide. Bill told me, "I'll have Judy call you and we'll find something for you."

Judy arranged an interview for me with a government agency that would have me traveling to nearby states to promote Arkansas through presentations to schools and organizations. However, someone with some clout had another person in mind, and Judy didn't make it evident enough to them that I was to get the job. They didn't hire me. I called Bill and asked, "What happened? I didn't get the job." Exasperated, he said, "I didn't stay on top of it like I should have. Don't worry. It won't happen next time."

My next interview was with the Arkansas Appeal Tribunal. The appointed head of the Board of Review, which encompassed the Appeal Tribunal, was Don Barnes, who had been appointed by Bill. Bill called Don and asked him to find something for me. Don was eager to accommodate him and came up with a strategy. He promoted a supervisor to be his personal assistant. Then he upgraded her former position so that it paid more, and opened it up for me.

To make sure everything looked on the up-and-up, I went through certain procedures. First, Don had to interview in-house to see if there were any qualified applicants. Charlette Perry, an eminently qualified black woman who had been with the Tribunal five or six years, interviewed for the job, but didn't get it. By claiming not to have found anyone qualified for the job within, Don could open up the position to the public and advertise in the newspaper. That's when I came in. Numerous people applied for the job, and the staff narrowed the list down to ten -- of which I was one.

Randy Wright was the head of the Appeal Tribunal, and he conducted the interviews. My interview went smoothly -- Randy and I hit it off immediately. Don Barnes sat in on my interview, and afterward suggested Randy hire me. Randy was easily influenced and eager to please his boss, and besides, he had liked me, too. So it was a done deal. I got the job, and it didn't bother me a bit that the way I got it was a little unorthodox. This was the way things got done in Bill Clinton's Arkansas. I knew I could handle the job and would do well, and I was grateful for the steady income.

Charlette Perry, however, was not pleased. She still felt strongly that she should have gotten the job instead of me, so she filed a grievance, and a hearing was scheduled. I was really surprised. The way I got my job was not out of the ordinary, I thought, and I couldn't believe I was going to be questioned about it. Both Don Barnes and Randy Wright were happy with me, and I thought everything had been arranged so nothing would look funny.

The grievance hearing committee consisted of approximately ten people, and the hearing itself was conducted like a courtroom trial. I had to wait out in the hallway of this musty old state building where there was nowhere to sit, so I perched on the edge of a table. There were other people gathered around and we made small talk ... all the time I was wondering what they had to do with this hearing. I had never seen any of them before. The longer I waited, the more nervous I became. I was still pretty confident that Bill would make everything okay, but I was getting a little anxious about what types of questions they would ask me.

Finally, we were called into the hearing room itself, which was just slightly more inviting than the hallway. The people who were conducting the hearing were seated in a line at a table at the head of the room, looking like a group of turkeys peering over a log. Some of them were attorneys and some were not. Randy Wright and Don Barnes were there also.

As soon as the questions began, I became intimidated. This was not the line of questioning I had expected. They were asking me very pointed questions about how I heard about the job, and they asked them over and over -- almost like an interrogation. I could tell they were trying to trip me up on details, and I had the very clear impression they suspected Bill was involved in getting me the position.

I was scared. I didn't want to lie, but I knew if I told the truth -- that Bill Clinton had indeed arranged the job for me -- all hell would break loose. I tried to appear calm and simply puzzled, but in control. I clasped my hands in my lap to keep them from shaking. I calmly and innocently told the grievance committee I had learned about the job from the newspaper. I stuck to that version of events and tried hard not to give any conflicting answers. I didn't want Charlette to have grounds for a lawsuit. Bill would certainly experience a backlash from his political enemies if the truth came out, and I couldn't even imagine what might happen to me. Thank goodness Don Barnes finally put an end to the questioning and the hearing broke up.

Charlette won the ruling, and the committee demanded she be given my position or that an equal position be created for her. I called Bill in a panic over the outcome and the possibility of losing my job, but he reassured me. "Don't worry about it," he said. "Barnes has veto power. He'll take care of it." Sure enough, Don vetoed the grievance committee's ruling, and it was over. I couldn't believe it! I was relieved but amazed. Why have a grievance procedure if one person can overrule the decision for no good reason?

The only thing Charlette could have done at that point was file suit for discrimination. But she evidently didn't have the legal or financial support to do that so she just let it go. I knew she had gotten a raw deal, but she only suspected it -- she didn't know for certain. She was a hard worker, and I let her take charge of her area; she did a hell of a job of it. I admired her in a lot of ways: she had no husband and was the sole supporter of her three kids. Because she wasn't absolutely sure she had been sidestepped in favor of me, we had no problem working together.

I have no idea where Charlette Perry is today. She seems to have dropped completely out of the picture. I've often wondered if, after the story broke about Bill's and my relationship, she wasn't threatened to ensure she kept her mouth shut.

Once the hearing was over, I thought everything would be fine. Finis and I were still seeing each other, my job was going well, and I had also gotten a part-time job singing a few nights a week at the Flaming Arrow Club, a private club located in the Quapaw Tower building I had moved from after Bill and I broke up.

Bill had been elected governor again and things had settled down. No more was being said about the Larry Nichols lawsuit. But it wasn't long until the national media started hearing rumblings that Bill might be considering a run for the presidency. So, now and then, reporters from outside Arkansas would come to town looking for anything they could dig up about him. Once they hit town, the first thing they would unearth was that lawsuit and the press release, and they would try to track down the women Larry Nichols had named. Not too much came of their efforts, though. The women they were able to find simply wouldn't comment. Eventually, however, a Washington Post reporter actually came by my office looking for me. Luckily, I was out of the office at the time. I was getting concerned, feeling like this might all be building up to something.

I knew Bill was going to run for president. He had never deviated from that desire the entire time we were together. He made a false start of sorts in 1988, but it didn't work out. But now he felt he was ready. Even before he made the official announcement, he told me he had made up his mind: this year, 1991, was the year. I was thrilled for him. Even though personally I felt he should have waited a little longer, I was proud to see him going after his dream. Little did I know that his dream was about to become my nightmare.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 7:23 pm


On October 3, 1991, standing on the steps of the Old Statehouse in Little Rock, Bill Clinton announced to hundreds of enthusiastic supporters that he was officially a candidate for president of the United States. I was thrilled for him.

The announcement was hardly out of his mouth, however, before the national media descended on Little Rock in force, like a bunch of piranha, rummaging around for anything they could find on Bill. Naturally, one of the first things reporters uncovered was the lawsuit Larry Nichols had filed. Even though Bill's judge friend had sealed the case, the filing was in the public record, and that lawsuit was exactly the kind of information reporters look for when they're digging for dirt.

I was still working at the Appeal Tribunal during the day and singing at the Flaming Arrow at night. Although Bill and I had quit seeing each other two years earlier, I realized what an explosive revelation it would be if the public learned that a presidential candidate had had a mistress for twelve years. Reporters started sniffing around almost immediately, trying to get information on me. I was getting strange calls at work, and unfamiliar faces started popping up both at the Appeal Tribunal and at the Flaming Arrow. I began to feel frightened about what might lie ahead.

Then, Ron Fuller, a Republican legislator in Arkansas who was very close to the Bush campaign, called me. I had met him a few years earlier while singing at the Capitol Club. He made me an offer: "I have some friends in the Republican Party who would be willing to give you fifty thousand dollars and a job in California if you'll just admit it's true you had an affair with Bill Clinton. You don't have to give any details, just say it's true."

I was scared! It was becoming obvious that certain people wanted very badly to reveal our affair to the public. But I had no intention of becoming a political pawn, nor of revealing something I considered no one's business but Bill's and mine. I told him I didn't want any part of his plan, I didn't want to talk about it, and not to bring it up again. Ron Fuller has since denied making that offer, of course, but I did tell Bill about it right after it happened. He was angry at first, but his anger quickly subsided when he saw an opportunity. He asked me to sign an affidavit that the Republican Party had made me an offer so he could stick them with it if anything else came out. He thought he could use it to discredit anything the Republicans said about him.

What to do? I wanted to help Bill out, but I didn't want to sign any legal documents. I decided just to let him think, for the time being, that I might be willing to sign. Fortunately, Bill didn't push me on it, and eventually the idea faded away.

I was away from the office for a couple of hours one day at a doctor's appointment. When I returned, the receptionist told me a reporter from the Washington Post had been by, asking for me. I cringed inside. I knew it was only a matter of time before I ran headlong into reporters. I hoped I would be convincing enough to persuade them there was nothing to the stories about Bill and me, but I really hated the idea of having to deal with them at all.

Then two or three different times, reporters called the Flaming Arrow looking for me. The manager of the club, John Cain, told me the Dallas Morning News had called and so had reporters from Inside Edition. Again, I had managed to miss them, but I had a feeling my luck wasn't going to hold out much longer.

I was right. As I arrived at the Flaming Arrow one evening a few days later, a reporter and a cameraman from A Current Affair ambushed me in the parking lot -- firing questions, and waving microphones in my face. I brushed past them and hurried into the club, but they weren't about to give up so easily. Within minutes, one of them tried to get into the club, camera and all. John, visibly upset, kicked him out.

I frantically explained to John I had nothing to do with all the rumors flying around, and they just weren't true. That was my story and I had to stick to it. He tried to be understanding, but he said, "Gennifer, I don't want any problems. We don't need cameras in a nightclub." It was a private club, and oftentimes people came in with someone they weren't supposed to be with. The last thing John wanted was for his customers to get nervous and uncomfortable. I told John I was sure all the fuss would die down soon. But he was skeptical. I was booked to continue singing there through the end of the year, but he wasn't willing to take any chances. He asked me not to come back.

This was a big blow. My singing job provided me with a much-needed second income, and I was going to have trouble making ends meet without it. I was feeling dejected and frustrated and wondering when all this attention would end. I still hadn't leveled with Finis about my years with Bill, but I didn't think I'd be able to keep it from him much longer: Not a pleasant prospect, as I had already told him in so many words that the rumors about Bill and me weren't true. My life seemed to be crashing down around me, and I was running out of ideas to prop it back up.

Then Mother called. Someone had called her and without identifying himself said sarcastically, "You should be real proud of your daughter. She'd be better off dead." Mother was scared for me and wanted to know just what the hell was going on. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. Her name wasn't even Flowers then; it hadn't been since she married Jim. And they lived in a very small town in Missouri. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to track her down. I panicked that they might try to harm my parents.

I took that phone call as a personal message: "We can get to your mother, girl." Whoever made that call hit me in my most vulnerable spot. As much as I hated all this, I could deal with threats as long as they were directed toward me. But the possibility that my actions might have dangerous consequences for my mother scared me to death.

I was learning more about the harm that often came to people who crossed Bill Clinton or the power structure that surrounded and supported him. It had been reported that the state troopers who worked for Bill often threatened and roughed up Bill's enemies. For example, an attorney named Gary Johnson lived next door to me in the Quapaw Tower. I didn't really know him other than to say hello when we met in the hall. But I had heard that he'd had a disagreement with the homeowners association of the building because he had installed a video camera overlooking the parking lot, and they told him he couldn't do that. They explained that he didn't own the exterior of the building, but he did own his portion of the interior. In response, Gary moved the camera from its perch overlooking the parking lot and placed it instead so that it had a view directly out his front door and down the hall. Because our doors were close together, he also got a very clear view of my apartment door. When rumors began circulating that Bill and I were having an affair, Gary let it be known that he actually had a videotape of Bill coming to my apartment. Big mistake. Not long after that, some large men forced their way into his place, beat him senseless and left him for dead. According to Gary, they kept asking where "the tape" was. Sure enough, the videotape with Bill on it disappeared.

Gary, it seems, was a double threat because he was also acting as counsel for Larry Nichols, the man who filed the lawsuit against Bill Clinton.

In another incident, a man named Wayne Dumon allegedly raped Bill's cousin. She had identified two other men but they both had alibis, so she claimed it was Dumon. There was never proof of vaginal rape -- the semen was found outside her body on her clothes -- and he denied doing it. But, while he was out on bail, the sheriff and this girl's father attacked him and cut off his testicles and left him for dead. His sons found him and got him to a hospital; the sheriff put the severed testicles on display in his office. Dumon sued the men and won, but was never paid any money. He was also sent to prison for rape, and an expert witness was not allowed to testify that it was not his semen found on the girl. As far as I know, he's still sitting in jail in Arkansas.

This is all public record, too, not just some story made up to discredit Bill Clinton. So with stories like those in mind, when my mother called about her threatening phone call, I became doubly frightened. I drove to Missouri almost immediately because I felt like I needed to reassure her that I was okay, even though I wasn't. After a few days spent trying to sort out all that had happened in the past week, I came home not feeling much better. But at least I convinced her I was holding up all right.

As soon as I got home from Missouri, I checked my answering machine for messages. Bill had called several times while I was gone and had left a message for me to call him that evening at the governor's mansion. His voice on the machine sounded a little preoccupied, which didn't make me feel any better. I wondered if he had even more bad news for me. The little tape recorder I had used to tape our conversation a year earlier was still hooked up to my phone, and I switched it on without hesitation and without feeling any of the foolishness I had felt the first time. My increasing paranoia was stronger than my fear of feeling foolish.

I called Bill at the mansion and was put right through. I couldn't wait to talk to him; I was depending on him to figure out how to stop this invasion into my life. Without too many preliminaries, I told him about losing my singing job because of the reporters hounding me and also about Mother's mysterious phone call. Bill was concerned. When I related how my response to the reporters had been stony silence, he said, "Good for you." He chalked it all up to Republican harassment, trying to get to him through me.

Bill assured me that as long as I maintained my silence, nothing would come of the reporters' attempts to link us. As long as we stuck together, he said, we'd be fine. I was concerned about my job at the Appeal Tribunal -- after all, it was a state job and Bill had arranged for me to get it. I don't know if the way I got the job was illegal, but it was certainly unethical. I asked Bill what I should do if anyone asked me if he had been involved in my hiring. Again, he told me to just deny it. Even though that would be a total deception, at that point I was willing to do or say just about anything to make this nightmare go away.

Bill offered to use his influence to persuade John Cain to take me back at the Flaming Arrow. He was still thinking he could engineer anything he wanted without repercussions, but I was astonished he would risk establishing yet another link between us. I told him, "No, I think it's probably wise that I'm not in a place where reporters know they can find me." Still, he said once things died down a little, he'd use his influence to help get my job back. We ended our conversation, and I wasn't terribly reassured. Bill was still behaving as if he were bulletproof, but somehow I didn't think reporters from out of state would back off the way the local boys did.

During this time, every day seemed to bring new worries. I wasn't used to having my life spin out of control, and I vacillated between fear, frustration, and anger. As much as I would have liked to take matters into my own hands, I couldn't think of a thing to do that might help. I had to count on Bill to deflect attention from me, and I wasn't all that certain he could do so. As bad as things were, I couldn't imagine they would get worse. But they did ... and quickly.

A week or so after I spoke with Bill, I came home to my apartments at the Forest Place Apartments (where I had moved after Bill and I broke up) and found the dead bolt on my door locked. Since I wasn't in the habit of locking the dead bolt, I thought maybe maintenance had been in to fix something and had locked the dead bolt when they left. But when I went inside, nothing had been done. That was curious. If maintenance had been inside to make repairs, they would always leave a receipt on the counter to show they had been there -- for their own protection. But I looked around and there was nothing -- no receipt and no signs they had worked on anything. I called the manager and asked if someone had been in, and she checked her records and told me that none of their people had been inside. It was a mystery.

The same thing happened a few days later, and again, no receipt. This time, however, I noticed that my telephone had been moved from the nightstand by the bed to the dresser a few feet away. And there was what looked like dirt from a shoe or something on the floor, at the corner of the dresser, that hadn't been there that morning. I called the manager and insisted that her maintenance crew must have been inside my apartment. "Someone's been in here with a key, 'cause they locked the dead bolt," I told her. But, once again, she checked her records, and said, "No, no one has been in."

In spite of all the recent happenings, it didn't click in my mind that it could be anyone other than building maintenance. I figured maybe one of the crew knew I was gone all day, so he sneaked in to make phone calls or just hide out for awhile. I was exasperated -- it was just one more irritation stacked on top of an already-large pile. Boy! Was I naive. I wrote a formal letter of complaint to management and insisted they follow proper procedure if their maintenance people needed to enter my apartment. Something screwy was going on and I wanted it on record that I had complained, just in case something turned up missing or I found some other problem.

A few days later, I came home to find the door ajar. Puzzled, I pushed it open, and stepped in. I couldn't believe my eyes; my whole apartment had been ransacked -- furniture turned upside down, drawers emptied onto the floor, linens stripped off the bed. I was stunned. I dropped to my knees in the doorway and started shaking uncontrollably. This wasn't maintenance that had been inside my apartment. This was something much bigger, and I knew it had to be related to Bill. It scared me out of my mind.

For some reason, I didn't even think that someone might still be in my apartment. I just saw all the devastation and finally figured out just what was happening. I was so frightened and didn't want to be alone, so I called a friend and kept her on the phone while I started going through my things to see if anything was missing. I still shudder to think what might have happened if someone had been waiting for me!

I eventually let my friend go, and I put in a call to Bill. He wasn't at the mansion, but I hoped he would get back to me quickly to advise. I didn't bother calling the police ... I knew this was a crime that would never be solved. It was a sickening process, going through the chaos they had left. It horrified and angered me to think that someone had touched and inspected nearly everything I owned. What a feeling of violation!

As I sifted through the mess, a chilling thought hit me: the person responsible for this might not be looking for something on Bill and me. This could be Bill himself, looking for what I had on him. But I couldn't imagine him thinking I was a threat. After all, I had tried to cooperate in every way I could to keep our affair quiet. Yet, looking around at what had been done to my apartment, I felt anything was possible. It was hard maintaining rational thought while standing in the midst of such destruction.

Thank goodness I had put the tapes of our conversations in what I thought was a safe place, away from my apartment, a few days earlier. Intuition told me I should do that, just in case. As far as I knew, the tapes were the only hard evidence of our relationship. But I had jewelry in my apartment ... I had appliances, TVs, stereo equipment, all the normal things a burglar would be looking for. Nothing was missing. But it was obvious, everything in the apartment had been meticulously scrutinized.
My apartment had a long walk-in closet crammed full. Every item of clothing had been ripped off its hanger and thrown on the floor; everything on the shelves had been pulled down, gone through, and tossed on the floor; every shoe had been inspected to see if anything was inside. The intruders had even flipped my mattress over to check underneath. Boxes of photographs were scattered across the floor. I frantically searched my memory, trying to remember if a picture of Bill and me together had ever been taken. I didn't think so, but right then I wasn't sure of anything. It was like a scene from a bad movie. Although I was no expert, it appeared to have been done by professionals. Whoever ransacked my apartment knew what they were doing.

Standing amid the chaos, my emotions overwhelmed me. I felt anger about what had been done to my apartment; frustration because the media attention had cost me my singing job; and panic because I knew the lid was close to blowing off the badly kept secret of my relationship with Bill. This was not a game -- it was deadly serious. I didn't know whom I could trust -- including Bill. I knew then that my life was in danger.

Bill called me back a short time later and, once again, I taped the conversation. No hesitation at all. I would add this tape to my growing collection, safely tucked away. He was upset about the break-in and asked me specifically if any of my phone records were missing. I kept detailed phone records for tax purposes because I conducted a lot of business on my personal phone. But local calls didn't show up on my bills, and the calls I made to him when he was out of town were usually to hotels. My phone records didn't present a problem as far as I could see. I thought Bill should be much more worried about the phone records at the mansion -- all incoming and outgoing calls were logged, and I called him there frequently. Nor had he ever been reluctant to call me from the mansion.

Bill seemed different that night on the telephone. For the first time, he was distant with me. Obviously, he was concerned about what was going on and wanted to know the details, but I didn't sense a great concern for me personally. It was clear he was just gathering as much information as he could to mount a defense if it became necessary. There was no playful banter between us as there always had been -- he was much more formal and guarded with me.

Our conversation left me uneasy, and I told myself, "Gennifer, you're on your own, kid." It was obvious he was now looking out for himself, and I had to do the same. I looked around my apartment, which was still turned upside down, and felt extremely vulnerable and unprotected. There wasn't much I could do that night to increase my security, and I wasn't convinced the creeps wouldn't come back, since they'd found nothing the first time. The very next day, however, just to make myself feel better, I installed a chain lock on my door that could be locked and unlocked from the outside. I gave the key to no one. If someone got in while I was gone during the day, they would have to physically break in. And if someone tried to come in while I was at home, I figured I would at least have a few seconds warning as they were breaking through the chain.

I thought it unlikely Bill would do anything to harm me. What frightened me was not knowing how far his supporters might go. This was Arkansas, where politics is a blood sport, and funny things happened to people all the time. If Bill's backers perceived me as the enemy, there was no telling what they might do to try to eliminate any threat I might pose. Bill was supported by some powerful and wealthy people in Arkansas who were very eager to see him become president.

For the first time, I began to see the value of the tapes I'd made of our telephone conversations, and I was glad I had them. If anything happened to me, the tapes could at least establish a link between Bill and me. If I were to have a mysterious accident, I knew my mother could take that proof and, hopefully, Bill, his people, or whoever, would be held accountable.

Before the dust had settled from the break-in, a deejay on a local talk show got hold of the press release that had been spread around right after Larry Nichols filed his lawsuit -- the same release Finis had received in his office -- and he read it on the air. Bill heard about it and called me, incensed. He told me to get a lawyer and have him write a threatening letter. This really concerned him, because, as Bill put it, that deejay "was a real big mouth."

Looking back, that poor guy was probably one of the only people in Little Rock with guts. Very few local people dared cross Bill Clinton. Even the local newspaper hadn't gone anywhere with the information in Nichols' lawsuit. A tiny article that didn't include any of the names of Bill's alleged girlfriends was as far as the newspaper went with it. Plus, a local columnist claimed to have gotten a denial from every woman named in the suit, but he never even tried to contact me. I thought at the time, however, that this deejay was one more nuisance among many, so I took Bill's advice and went to a lawyer. I had him write a letter threatening to sue the radio station if the deejay didn't stop the accusations, and he stopped.

Every time I managed to put out one fire, a bigger one flared up. I took Bill at his word when he said all I had to do was deny, deny, deny -- no one could prove anything. So far it seemed to be working. I wanted to protect Bill. Even though our relationship was a thing of the past, I was still very fond of him. We had a lot of years between us that were enormously meaningful to me.

Bill feared, rightfully so, that if word of our affair leaked out, it would torpedo his candidacy, just as Gary Hart's bid for the presidency sank when his affair with Donna Rice became public. The last thing I wanted was for my involvement with Bill to harm his chances for the presidency. Also, any more publicity about this could be disastrous for my own career ... and my life. I was just barely hanging on to my job at the Appeal Tribunal, and I really wanted to sing again. I knew there was no way I could land another singing job in Little Rock if reporters were constantly trailing and harassing me. Most important of all, there was Finis. I loved him, and we had talked seriously about marriage before all the rumblings of scandal started. Further publicity would damage our relationship, probably beyond repair. All I wanted was to reclaim my life, and I felt if I followed Bill's plan of complete denial, eventually interest would have to die down. Who could prove anything?

I soon found out. Reporters from the Star magazine hit town determined to ferret out a story. They dug around a little bit, but couldn't find me or any information of value. Then they got a lucky break that really helped them out. They were in a bar one night and struck up a conversation with three girls. They asked the girls, "By chance, do you know Gennifer Flowers?" Unfortunately for me, I had interviewed one of the girls a week earlier for a job at the Appeal Tribunal. During the interview, we determined we had a friend in common. She spilled this to the Star reporters, along with the exact information of where I was working. They offered her two hundred dollars if she could get my unlisted home phone number, which she immediately set about doing. With the glint of easy money in her eye, she called our mutual friend and told him I had asked her to call me at home, but she had lost my number. She got the number, and bam! The Star had all they needed, and they set out to nail me.

Sure enough, the Star reporters started calling, both at work and at home. I had an answering machine at home, so I could just ignore those calls, but at work I couldn't avoid them. Two or three times reporters tried to get me to talk, but I cut them short with the denial routine -- I said there was nothing to any of the rumors -- and refused to say any more. I had no interest in talking with these people.

Each morning during this time, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach with anxiety and wondering what new surprise awaited me that day. Another reason for my anxiety was that I knew it was time to tell Finis the truth. I asked him to meet me for dinner, and before I said anything about Bill, I fortified myself with a few drinks. I took a deep breath and told him the whole story. With a shaky voice I told him about my relationship with Bill. I told Finis he was the reason I ended the affair, because I had fallen in love with him, and that he was the only man who was able to tear me away from Bill.

He sat there quietly, his face an unreadable mask. I continued, describing how reporters had been following me, trying to get me to talk, and how I was becoming increasingly nervous about the whole situation. When I reached the end of the story, I looked at Finis. So far he hadn't said a word, and I still couldn't tell from his expression what he was thinking. He sighed, and finally spoke. His first words expressed concern for me. He didn't seem surprised at all; I think he probably knew from the moment he read Larry Nichols' press release that it was true. But he was grateful I had finally come clean with him and was anxious about how I was handling all the pressure. He took it well, but I could sense he was sad. The distance between us had been growing ever since the press release fell into his hands, and I knew the gap would only get wider now. I felt so desolate that I started crying. But I knew there was nothing I could do to stop him from drifting away.

Everything and everyone I cared about was being affected. Each day seemed to bring a new loss. The power I had always had to control my own destiny was slipping away rapidly. Would I lose my life next?

Meanwhile, the Star was getting closer. One afternoon I had pulled my car up in front of my office to load some things. When I came out a few minutes later, with my arms full, I noticed another car had pulled in front of mine. I glanced at the car and saw a man in the back seat pointing what looked like a camera at me.

Startled, I guessed this might be the people from the Star who'd been trying to reach me. My first reaction was to make a scene or, at the very least, give them the finger. Fortunately, my rational mind took over, and I decided to pretend I hadn't seen them, get in the car, and get the hell out of there.

When I got home, I had a message on my answering machine from the Star. "I think you should know we are going to print an article about what we know of your relationship with Bill Clinton, and we would like to talk to you about it. We also have photographs of you." The message went on to say that if I had any doubts about what was going on, to call Dick Kaplan, who was the managing editor of the Star.

I was speechless. A million things went through my mind. They couldn't really do that, could they? Who did they think they were fooling with? I'd file a lawsuit so fast they wouldn't know what hit them. Could Bill do anything? What was I going to tell Finis? I was frantic. There had to be something I could do to stop this from happening.

I called Blake Hendrix, an attorney I had met while singing at the Excelsior. Blake and his girlfriend came into the lounge occasionally, and I had gotten to know them. He had handled some business for me in the past, and I hoped I could trust him. He reminds me a little of Miles Silverberg, the character on "Murphy Brown," only without Miles' neurotic temperament. Blake has that same boyish look and is extremely affable and approachable. I had been impressed with his intelligence and competence, and I desperately needed someone sharp to help me out.

He agreed to meet with me right away to talk about my problem, so I rushed over to his office. I filled him in on everything, from the very beginning with nothing left out, and told him my only desire was to stop this story -- no matter what it would take. Blake listened carefully and seemed a little nervous. He said he would call Dick Kaplan, and on my order, threaten to sue. I was praying to God he could handle this for me. Any hopes I had were short-lived, however. I underestimated the power and drive of the media.

The Star wasn't compliant like the radio station had been. After Blake called Dick Kaplan to discuss the situation, he called me back and said, "Gennifer, I think we should get on a plane, go up there, sit down with these people, and try to reason with them." So on the basis of his advice, I convinced myself we could outmaneuver the Star, and I agreed to fly to New York. I called Bill before we left to tell him where I was going and what was going on with the Star. I panicked when he wasn't there, and was upset that he hadn't called me back by the time we left. I kept thinking, "Dammit, please hurry and call me back. I need you!" I had no way of knowing at that time that I would never speak to him again.

By this time, I was beginning to think that where Finis was concerned, it might be safer for him if I put some distance between us. So I didn't phone him before I left.

On the plane, with Blake seated beside me, I thought about the upcoming confrontation and naively believed I had the upper hand. I was certain once Dick Kaplan saw me in person and saw how adamant and willing to sue I was, he would back down. I even entertained ideas of how much I would enjoy owning the Star, which I fully intended to do if they didn't kill that story.

Kaplan sent a limousine to meet us at the airport, and it whisked us directly to the Star offices in Tarrytown, New York. I remember being surprised at how unimpressive the reception area looked -- it didn't fit my image of what the offices of a national tabloid news magazine should look like.

I was still feeling determined as the receptionist led us down a long hallway lined on both sides with tall file cabinets. Each drawer was labeled with some outrageous topic: abortions (did they know about mine?), political scandals, celebrity affairs, and so on. By the time we reached the conference room at the end of the hall, I was feeling somewhat shaken. It hit me, suddenly, that this time I wasn't dealing with a small-town, dickweed radio station. The Star may have been a supermarket tabloid, but they had a huge national circulation and a much slicker operation than I had initially given them credit for.

A massive hardwood table dominated the conference room, and the smell of ink and paper was strong. The reality of my situation was beginning to sink in -- here I was, standing in a newspaper office fighting to preserve the secrecy of my affair with a man who might possibly be our next president.

A copy of the Star was prominently displayed at the far end of the conference table. I picked it up and gasped when I read the headline: DEM'S FRONT-RUNNER BILL CLINTON CHEATED WITH MISS AMERICA AND FOUR OTHER BEAUTIES -- A FORMER MISS ARKANSAS, A SINGER, A REPORTER AND HIS OWN PRESS SPOKESWOMAN. The word "singer" jumped right out at me. I said to Blake, "Look at this. Is it real?"

With shaking hands, I opened to the story and, sure enough, there was my name right in the middle of the list: "Gennifer Flowers, a cabaret singer from Little Rock, Ark." The next page displayed the picture taken of me beside my car and a photograph of my former apartment building, the Quapaw Tower. Next to that was a picture of the apartment manager, who said in a caption that he had seen Bill visit me there ten to twenty times. My heart nearly stopped. This was worse than I ever could have imagined.

It was real, all right. Blake and I purposely laid the Star back on the table where we had found it, walked to the other end, and sat down. I didn't want to be gawking at it when Kaplan came through the door, because if his intention was to intimidate me with it, I needed to compose myself to avoid letting my face show he was succeeding. My confidence was fading quickly, but I still believed I held the trump card -- a lawsuit.

Dick Kaplan walked into the room flanked by his attorney and carrying a tape recorder. He appeared to be in his late fifties, medium height, and somewhat heavyset. His face showed an unanticipated kindness, but that only made me more wary. I wasn't about to fall for any tricks. Kaplan placed the tape recorder on the table and started to speak. I interrupted him immediately, asking, "First of all, is that tape recorder on?" He backed off right away and said, "Oh, no, no, no. If it makes you feel better, I'll take it out of the room." Victory for Gennifer, I thought. Did he really think I would start to spill my guts into his tape recorder? Besides, for all I knew the entire room was bugged. Or maybe we were being videotaped.

Kaplan returned to the room, minus the tape recorder, and picked up the copy of the Star that was still lying on the table. He held it up for me to see and told me it was going to be on the newsstands in just a few days -- with or without my cooperation. Indignantly, I said, "You know you can't do that. You can't print my name and my picture in there without my permission." I had played my ace in the hole, and I eagerly watched his face to see what his reaction would be.

To his credit, Kaplan didn't gloat. He gently said, "Gennifer, let me tell you how this works. As soon as Larry Nichols filed the lawsuit, anybody could print your name along with the word 'alleged.' And you don't have a basis for a lawsuit because it's public record." I was dumbfounded. I looked to Blake. I knew he would have a brilliant legal comeback to counter that statement, wouldn't he? Blake fidgeted a little and looked uncomfortable, and he wasn't saying anything. But the expression on his face told it all -- Kaplan was right. My heart sank.

Then the Star's attorney piped in and said the article would be all over the country by the following Tuesday, and what they wanted from me was corroboration. All this was too much for me to absorb. My heart was racing and I felt like I was backed into a corner. I told Kaplan, ''I'd like to talk to my attorney in private, please." I had to get out of there, and I felt like I was going to throw up. They showed us into another office, and I was so scared, I was sure the room was wired and they were listening to our conversation. I must have looked like the Pink Panther, sneaking around the room, looking for microphones and tape recorders. My imagination was out of control.

I brought my finger up to my lips to signal to Blake not to say anything that might be overheard, and I walked over to him and put my lips right against his ear and whispered, "Can they do this?" He whispered back glumly, "Yes, they can. You can file a lawsuit, but it's not going to stop this issue." A hundred things went through my mind as I tried to digest this astonishing news. The truth was going to come out whether I wanted it to or not. I couldn't stop it. How could I even go back to Little Rock? My apartment had been ransacked, I had lost my singing job, and my mother and I had both received threatening telephone calls. I kept thinking about the danger I was in, too. What about all those people who had been hurt or killed when they became a threat to Bill Clinton and his circle of power?

Also, this would certainly end my romance with Finis. He would surely be uncomfortable when his fellow employees saw his girlfriend's name splashed all over the tabloids.

Reporters had already been following me everywhere, and now it would only get worse. I couldn't go back to my job at the Appeal Tribunal. How could I command respect from the two dozen employees I supervised once my affair with Bill was revealed? Plus, once everyone knew about our connection, they'd quickly figure out how I got the job in the first place. I had only about a thousand dollars in the bank and I knew no more paychecks would be coming. What could I do?

As I stood there, mind reeling, I realized the fire was out of control, and there was no escaping the flames this time. I was about to have some of the most intimate details of my life revealed to the world. Bill Clinton and I were about to become the central players in a personal and political scandal of a depth I couldn't begin to conceive. Bill couldn't help me any longer, nor could my attorney. I was painfully alone, with no control and no idea where to go or what to do.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 11:30 pm


Ever since the Bill Clinton/Gennifer Flowers story broke, the public perception has been that I smelled money, sought out the Star, and offered to sell them my story. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even as I sat in the Star's offices, with full knowledge that their expose was going to hit the newsstands, I was still looking for a way out. I knew I was grabbing for straws, but I'd been in a few tight positions in my life, and I could usually find a way to maneuver myself out. There had to be a solution to this one, too.

I felt trapped. Blake and I decided it would be best to stall for time. We returned to the conference room and I told Dick Kaplan, "I need to think about this. I have a lot to consider, a lot to think over." He agreed and suggested we go to the hotel where they had booked us rooms. So Blake and I headed for cover and a much-needed chance to think and plan. Even though I hadn't agreed to corroborate anything yet, they were panicked that some other media would get my story first. So they sent Marion Collins, a reporter, to the hotel with us, just to be sure no one approached us on the way. She was prepared to go into the bathroom with me if she felt it was necessary.

I spent the most restless night of my life. Blake and I talked for hours, I called my mother and talked at length with her, and I tried to objectively evaluate the situation as best I could. I did not call Bill. He was powerful in Arkansas, but his influence didn't reach much beyond the state line, so I really didn't think there was anything he could do.

The five waiting men were clearly taken aback when Governor Bill Clinton stepped from the vehicle with his aide, Bob Nash, and led the entourage into the World War II ammunition storage bunker that would serve as the meeting place.

In a low tone, Cathey [Oliver North] turned to Terry and said: "Shit! I was afraid he'd show up. That'll certainly upset our agenda. I'm glad Johnson is here. He'll be able to handle him."

The waiting group of five had expected Nash, but not his boss, Arkansas' Commander-in-Chief, Bill Clinton. By his mere appearance, Clinton was risking exposure of his involvement in unauthorized covert operations. But he seemed desperate.

The meeting had been called at Camp Robinson, an Army facility outside Little Rock, to get some problems ironed out. In addition to the governor and his aide, the "guest list" included Max Gomez (Felix Rodriguez), John Cathey (Oliver North), resident CIA agent Akihide Sawahata, Agency subcontractor Terry Reed -- and the man in charge, the one who would call the shots. He called himself Robert Johnson.

Johnson had been sent from Washington to chair this very delicate operational briefing that would hopefully extricate the Agency from its entanglement in what was becoming a messy situation in Arkansas....

Cathey began the briefing.

"Governor Clinton," he said switching to his toastmaster tone, "I'm glad you could attend tonight's meeting with us. We're both surprised and honored. Bobby (Nash) didn't inform us you would be attending ... However, let's get down to it....

Terry viewed this meeting as his initiation into the inner circle. But this impromptu appearance by Governor Clinton, however, would expose Terry to yet more things that he had no "need to know." It would also confirm his suspicions that operations in Arkansas were being run with Clinton's full knowledge....

"Gentlemen," Cathey said, "this meeting is classified Top-Secret. The items discussed here should be relayed to no one who does not have an operational need to know. I repeat Top-Secret. There are to be no notes taken."...

Johnson, Cathey said, was the personal representative of CIA Director William Casey and had been sent to chair the meeting. Casey was too important to show his face, Terry assumed. But he felt honored, and yet surprised, to find he'd been dealing with someone so closely connected to the Director of Central Intelligence, the top of the intelligence pyramid.

"Thank you," Johnson said. "As Mr. Cathey mentioned, I am the emissary of Mr. Casey, who for obvious security reasons could not attend. We are at a major junction of our Central American support program. And I am here to tie up a few loose ends. As you are all aware, the severity of the charges that could be brought against us if this operation becomes public ... well, I don't need to remind you of what Benjamin Franklin said as he and our founding fathers framed the Declaration of Independence ..."

Cathey interrupted. "Yeah, but hanging is a much more humane way of doing things than what Congress will put us through if any of this leaks out." This marked the only time during the briefing that laughter was heard.

"This is true," Johnson replied. "And therefore, Governor Clinton, I'm going to find it necessary to divide this meeting into groups so that we don't unnecessarily expose classified data to those who don't have an absolute need to know. We can first discuss any old business that concerns either "Centaur Rose" or "Jade Bridge", and I think that you will agree that afterwards you and Mr. Nash will have to excuse yourselves ..."

Clinton was visibly indignant, giving the angry appearance of someone not accustomed to being treated in such a condescending manner.

"It seems someone in Washington has made decisions without much consulting with either myself or my aide here, Mr. Nash. And I'd like to express my concern about the possible exposure my state has as you guys skedaddle out of here to Mexico. I feel somewhat naked and compromised. You're right, there are definitely some loose ends!"...

Nash interjected: "Sir, Governor Clinton's concerns are that there may be some loose ends cropping up from the Mena operation in general. As you know, we have had our Arkansas State Police intelligence division riding herd on the project. And that has been no simple task. Even with some of our ASP officers undercover over there, we couldn't have gained any real inside knowledge had it not been for Mr. Reed's ability to report it directly to me. This thing about Barry Seal getting Governor Clinton's brother involved is what's got us all upset. I mean, as we speak, there's an investigation going on that could spill over onto some very influential people here in Arkansas, and people very close to the governor personally ..."

Johnson looked like he was getting irritated. Clinton had not been scheduled to be there and his original agenda now was being discarded.

"Hold on!" Johnson shot back. "Calm down! Mr. Casey is fully in charge here. Don't you old boys get it. Just tell me what has to be taken care of, or who needs to be taken care of, and I'll fix it for you!"

Johnson boasted to the group that Attorney General Edwin Meese, by arranging the appointment of J. Michael Fitzhugh as U.S. Attorney in Western Arkansas, had effectively stonewalled the ongoing money laundering investigations in Mena where the Contra training operations had been centered. It was his impression, Johnson said, that everything was now "kosher" and the "containment" was still in place. Operations "Rose" and "Bridge" had not been exposed because federal law-enforcement agencies had been effectively neutralized. But Johnson said he was now concerned that the "drug" investigation there might expand beyond his control and unmask the residue of black operations.

Now the meeting was starting to turn into a shouting match, Terry quietly observed that Clinton appeared on the verge of losing his well-rehearsed, statesman-like demeanor. Stopping investigations around Mena had helped the CIA and its bosses in Washington, but it had not solved any of the governor's local political problems. And these same problems were threatening to unveil the Mena operations.

It was the spring of 1986, just over a month after Barry Seal's assassination in Louisiana. Clinton was facing a very tough and dirty reelection campaign. His Republican opponent was certain to be ex-Governor Frank White, the only man who had ever defeated Clinton. The newspapers were filled with stories about Clinton's brother, who had been convicted and served time from federal drug trafficking charges, giving White the dirt he needed to launch a serious and damaging political attack.

Roger Clinton had "rolled over" and turned informant, enabling the Feds to begin an investigation of investment banker Dan Lasater, a close personal friend and campaign contributor of Clinton's. This investigation, it was clear, could spill over into Lasater's firm, possibly exposing CIA money-laundering and other possible illegal activities. [1]

The investigation of Clinton's brother had been carried out largely by disloyal state police officials who were backing White, and without Clinton's knowledge, when the inquiry was first initiated. Terry wondered whether a "coup" was building? Clinton was clearly in big political trouble, and his demeanor now was not the cool and composed man people saw on television. Perhaps the CIA and the Reagan administration wanted another "presidente," a Republican one, in its banana republic?

Rumors were also running wild that the bond underwriting business, in which Lasater was a major figure, had been used to launder drug money. In addition, candidate White had another big issue to run with. He would charge later that Clinton was directing choice state legal work as bond counsel to the prestigious Rose Law firm, where his wife, Hillary, was a senior partner. And Clinton had to be fearful that exposure of the Mena operations would be the death blow to his reelection hopes. And, if that weren't enough ammunition, the governor was also facing a possible state budgetary shortfall of more than $200 million.

By his comments, the governor's political problems and his potential exposure were clearly on his mind. Clinton showed his contempt for the young man from Washington as he lost his composure, jumped to his feet and shouted: "Getting my brother arrested and bringing down the Arkansas bond business in the process isn't my idea of kosher! You gents live a long way from here. Your meddling in our affairs here is gonna carry long-term exposure for me! I mean us. And what are we supposed to do, just pretend nothing happened?" He was angry.

"Exactly, pretend nothing's happened," Johnson snapped back. "It's just like the commercial, you're in good hands with Allstate. Only in this case, it's the CIA." Johnson paused, took a deep breath, and continued. "Mr. Clinton, Bill, if you will, some of those loose ends you refer to here were definitely brought on by your own people, don't you agree? I mean your brother didn't have to start shoving Mr. Seal's drugs up his nose and your friend, Lasater, has been flaunting his new wealth as if he's trying to bring you down. We're having to control the SEC and the IRS just to keep him afloat.

"Our deal with you was to help 'reconstruct the South,''' Johnson sniped, using a term Southerners hate, since it reminds them of the post-Civil War Yankee dominance of the South. "We didn't plan on Arkansas becoming more difficult to deal with than most banana republics. This has turned out to be almost comical."

"Bobby! Don't sit here on your black ass and take this Yankee shit!" Clinton yelled at Nash in an appeal for support. "Tell him about Seal bribing those federal agents!" It was getting to resemble a verbal tennis match as volleys were being lobbed, each one with more intensity. From the comment about Seal, Terry concluded that Clinton did in fact have his own intelligence network, too.

"Why, Mr. Clinton, with racial slurs like that, the federal government could terminate educational busing aid here," Johnson wryly shot back. "I thought Arkansas was an equal opportunity employer!"

Nash touched the governor's arm, coaxing him back into his chair.

Johnson continued, "The deal we made was to launder our money through your bond business. What we didn't plan on was you and your token nigger here to start taking yourselves seriously and purposely shrinking our laundry."

"What do you mean by shrinking the laundry?!" Clinton asked still shouting. By now, Clinton's face was flushed with anger.

To the CIA, Arkansas had to be a money-launderers' heaven. To understand why, one must realize that intelligence agencies have the same problem as drug traffickers. To launder cash, a trafficker must either find a bank willing to break the law by not filing the documentation required for cash deposits, or go offshore where reporting requirements are less strict. Like traffickers, once offshore, the CIA must use wire transfers to get their money into the U.S., but at great risk of detection.

The trafficker, having broken the law to make his money, has no legal recourse if his banker double-crossed him. In other words, it's an insecure investment, which pays low interest, if any.

Arkansas offered the CIA something money launderers are rarely able to achieve, a secure business environment containing a banking industry where vast amounts of money move around unnoticed as part of the normal course of business. Through its substantial bond underwriting activities, the state had a huge cash flow that could allow dirty and clean money to co-mingle without detection. All they were lacking was the "dirty banker" to cooperate with them by ignoring the federal banking laws.

And that they found within the Clinton administration. This "banker" was none other than the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority, or ADFA, which was a creation of, and directly under the control of, the governor's office. Its official mandate was to loan money to businesses either already in or coming to Arkansas in order to develop an industrial base for new jobs that Clinton had made the centerpiece of his administration. ADFA, was in effect, a bank making preferred loans.

But, from what Terry had learned from Seal and Sawahata, that was not all ADFA was doing. ADFA, in effect a state investment bank, was being "capitalized" by large cash transfusions that the Agency was taking great pains to hide.

"No paper, no trail," seemed to be the dominate doctrine of the Agency's activities since, by design, cash dropped from an airplane in a duffel bag is not the standard way of transferring money.

ADFA was designed to compete for the profits generated by the bond issues necessary to industrialize Arkansas. The old Arkansas Industrial Development Commission that Clinton had inherited had no money of its own, and was forced to send prospective clients seeking industrial development loans to the established, privately-run investment banking industry in Little Rock. The state could be very selective in its referral business, however, and those who received the state's business stood to profit handsomely.

This insider referral business was alive and well when Terry moved to Arkansas, and he saw Seth Ward's son-in-law, Finis Shellnut, jockey for a position to reap these profits by going to work for Lasater, who was getting the lion's share of the secret sweetheart deals.

Before ADFA's creation, the state sent preferred business directly to investment banking firms like Lasater's. All that was needed for money-laundering was the firm's silence and a source of cash, which, in this case, the CIA provided. The heads of these firms were a coterie of wealthy and well-connected people who got even richer by doing what comes natural in Arkansas, "The Natural State" as it's called ..... dealing incestuously under the table.

Arkansas desperately needed new businesses -- and so did the CIA. It had plenty of black money, but that alone was not enough. "You can't kill an enemy by lobbing dollars at him" was the phrase Cathey had used with Terry to explain the CIA's dilemma of having the monetary resources to fund the Contras, but no legal way to deliver it directly. The Agency was barred by Congress from converting the cash into weapons and training the Contras needed on the battlefield, at least not through traditional Department of Defense suppliers.

Under Director William Casey's plan, the CIA needed other companies that would be a source of secretly-produced weapons that would find their way into the hands of the Contras. These selected businesses needed payment to perform these services for the CIA, and that cash came to them conveniently in a legal and undetectable manner, through ADFA, in the form of industrial development loans backed by tax-free development bonds. The CIA should have been showing a profit through accrued interest on their secured investments. But a problem had arisen. As Johnson had said, the "laundry" was shrinking.

And Johnson was not happy about that as evidenced by the way he was firing back at Clinton. It was apparent that Johnson knew Clinton and his people had not abided by his agreement with the Agency.

"Our deal was for you to have 10 per cent of the profits, not 10 per cent of the gross," Johnson sternly admonished Clinton.

"This has turned into a feeding frenzy by your good ole boy sharks, and you've had a hand in it, too, Mr. Clinton. Just ask your Mr. Nash to produce a business card. I'll bet it reads Arkansas Development and Finance Authority. We know what's been going on. Our people are professionals; they're not stupid. They didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, as you guys say. This ADFA of yours is double-dipping. Our deal with you was to launder our money. You get 10 per cent after costs and after post-tax profits. No one agreed for you to start loaning our money out to your friends through your ADFA so that they could buy machinery to build our guns. That wasn't the deal. Mr. Sawahata tells me that one of ADFA's first customers was some parking meter company that got several million in ... how shall we say it ... in preferred loans.

"Dammit, we bought a whole gun company, lock, stock and barrel and shipped the whole thing down here for you. And Mr. Reed even helped set it up. You people go and screw us by setting up some subcontractors that weren't even authorized by us. Shit, people who didn't even have security clearances. That's why we're pulling the operation out of Arkansas. It's become a liability for us. We don't need live liabilities."....

Clinton had paused for a moment to ponder Johnson's words. "What do ya' mean, live liabilities?" he demanded.

"There's no such thing as a dead liability. It's an oxymoron, get it? Oh, or didn't you Rhodes Scholars study things like that?" Johnson snapped.

"What! Are you threatenin' us? Because if ya' are ..."

Johnson stared down at the table, again took a deep breath, and paused. It appeared he wanted to elevate the tone of the disintegrating exchange.

"Calm down and listen," Johnson said. "We are all in this together. We all have our personal agendas ... but let's not forget, both the Vice President and Mr. Casey want this operation to be a success. We need to get these assets and resources in place and get them self-sustaining and prospering on their own while we have the chance. This is a golden opportunity. The timing is right. We have communists taking over a country in this hemisphere. We must all pull together and play as a team. This is no time for lone wolves. Mr. Seal is an example of what happens to lone wolves. They just don't survive in the modern world of intelligence.

"I'm not here to threaten you. But there have been mistakes. The Mena operation survived undetected and unexposed only because Mr. Seal carried with him a falsely created, high-level profile of a drugrunner. All the cops in the country were trying to investigate a drug operation. That put the police in a position where we could control them. We fed them what we wanted to feed them, when we wanted to feed them; it was our restaurant and our menu. Seal was himself a diversion. It was perfect until your brother started free-enterprising and now we have to shut it down. It's as simple as that. Mr. Seal was a good agent and it's a shame he's dead. But, hopefully, our new operation will build on Seal's success in sustaining our Contra support effort while goddamn Congress dilly dallies around as the Russians take over Nicaragua."

Clinton just glared back. "That was a good sermon, but what can you specifically do to end this investigation concerning my brother and the bond business?"

"Your brother needed to go to jail," Johnson said staring at the governor. "As governor you should intervene and make things as painless as possible now. As far as the money investigation goes, Mr. Meese is intervening right now. There will be no money investigation. The U.S. attorney's office (in Little Rock) is 'getting religion' as we speak. *

"There may be nothing we can do about your friend Lasater's drug problem. I suggest that he and everyone else caught with their pants down take the bad along with the good and do a little time -- as your brother has. It's a shame. But bartenders shouldn't drink. If some of our people are going to be in the drug business as a cover, they should do as Mrs. Reagan says and 'just say no'."

Johnson had applied the balm and now the massage began. "Bill, you are Mr. Casey's fair-haired boy. But you do have competition for the job you seek. We would never put all our eggs in one basket. You and your state have been our greatest asset. The beauty of this, as you know, is that you're a Democrat, and with our ability to influence both parties, this country can get beyond partisan gridlock. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you fuck up and do something stupid, you're No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job you've always wanted.

"That's pretty heady stuff, Bill. So why don't you help us keep a lid on this and we'll all be promoted together. You and guys like us are the fathers of the new government. Hell, we're the new covenant."

Clinton, having been stroked, seemed satisfied that the cover-up was expanding to, at least, protect the bond business. Like Lyndon Johnson, Clinton had learned that politics is the "art of the possible." He had not gotten everything he wanted, but he was at least walking away whole.

It appeared to Terry that Johnson had won the debate. Clinton and his administration had no grounds to complain about the Agency terminating its operation. Too many errors had been made. The young governor seemed to recognize he had lost, for now, and didn't want to continue the argument in front of the others.

"Bobby, I guess you and I should excuse ourselves," Clinton said while turning to his aide. "These gentlemen have other pressing business and besides, we don't have a need to know ... nor do I think we want to know."

When Clinton exited the bunker, Terry took a moment to absorb what had happened. Clinton had been treated badly in front of the others. Terry had certainly underestimated Johnson, the man he had sized up initially as a mere errand boy for Casey. His youthful demeanor had been misleading. He was clearly a skilled hatchet man. But Terry felt somewhat embarrassed for the governor. Johnson had effectively neutralized the governor of Arkansas' argument by simply changing the subject, and what a subject it was!

Was he hearing that the presidency is offered to a few groomed men, men groomed by the CIA?

-- Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presidency was Co-opted by the CIA, by Terry Reed & John Cummings

Besides, I was pretty sure any advice he might give me would be in his best interest, not mine.

I longed for a book of instructions to guide me through this. I had no "master plan" as I have since been accused of having, and I had no idea what my next step should be. Blake was an accomplished attorney, but he freely admitted this wasn't his field of expertise. All he could tell me was, "Do what you think is best," so I really felt I was on my own. I was flying by the seat of my pants, making all my decisions on the basis of my survival instinct.

As devastated as I was, I knew I had to summon all my emotional strength to face this squarely. I needed to think, and I had precious little time to do so. I finally decided I had two immediate goals: to become as high profile as possible to ensure my personal safety, and to do something about my financial security. Giving myself maximum visibility was crucial. As I said, people who posed a threat to Bill Clinton had a habit of ending up hurt or dead, and if I could prevent it, I wasn't about to become another statistic because of all this.

Then there was my financial situation to consider. The thousand dollars I had in the bank wasn't going to get me far, and I had no hope of getting a job anywhere once everything exploded. I had to decide quickly just what to do. I still did not want to do this, but I could see no way out. I decided if the Star would offer me money -- enough money to get me out of Little Rock so I could lie low until it all blew over -- I would corroborate their story. I didn't feel I had any other choice. And, after all, it was true.

I now know I did have another choice, and it would have been a much better one. I could have given an interview to Connie Chung or Barbara Walters -- someone with the mainstream media -- and signed a book deal right away. That would have accomplished both of my objectives -- high visibility and financial security -- with the added bonus of giving me more credibility. As fairly as the Star treated me, a supermarket tabloid lacks believability with the public. I think public perception of me might have been much different had I told my story in a different forum.

When Blake and I met with Dick the next morning, my first impression of his kindness returned. I fervently hoped I was right. With an air of resignation, I told him I would corroborate their story. He was pleased, and asked me a couple of questions to make sure there really was a story. First, he wanted to know just how long our relationship had gone on. When I told him it had been off and on for about twelve years, his eyes got real big.

He asked if I had any proof of our relationship. When I told him, "I have some tape-recorded phone conversations between Bill and me," his eyes nearly popped right out of his head! Not only had I been involved in a long-term relationship with Bill, but I had proof. Then came the offer. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he quoted a six figure amount! That was a lot of money for me and would lift a huge burden from my shoulders. It wasn't enough to live on for the rest of my life, but certainly enough to solve my immediate problem and give me some breathing room. Like it or not, I had to look out for myself.

The deal was made. I would corroborate the story and give them everything I could remember about my years with Bill. We started talking, going over some of the details of the relationship, and Dick decided the story should cover two issues of the Star. He, of course, wanted to hear the tapes, so I arranged to have them retrieved from my hiding place in Little Rock and delivered to the Star.

When I first arrived in New York, I was prepared to hate Dick Kaplan because of what his magazine was about to do to me, but my opinion of him was growing more favorable by the minute. There was no question that his loyalty was to the Star and that his interest in me was pretty much limited to getting a sensational story. But he didn't seem to be a hustler. He honestly seemed concerned about me and showed unexpected kindness toward me. All and all, I'd say he was a class act.

I had originally planned to spend one night in New York and go home the next day. Instead, I stayed almost two weeks, and Blake stayed with me. Even though he had been unable to get me out of my predicament, he was a rock of support for me when I needed one most.

Marion Collins, the reporter assigned to do my story, was a conservative British woman with brown hair and an understated style of dress. She wore little or no makeup and reminded me of the stereotypical British nanny: kindly but no-nonsense. She took up residence in the hotel where Blake and I were staying, and was by my side night and day, eking out the tiniest details, pressing me to make sure I had the chronology of events correct. She was insistent I not slip up on dates and give anyone the opportunity to discredit my story on the basis of a factual error.

At first she put me off because I thought she was being pushy. But gradually she made me realize the importance of being accurate. That was the most difficult part of the interviews. I had never kept a diary, and I never made any mental notes to the effect of "Today is September First, and Bill Clinton came to my apartment." And I had moved around a lot -- from club to club and from town to town. I knew it was important to get the dates straight and not overlook anything, but it was hard sifting through twelve years of memories.

She was absolutely correct in predicting that people would be looking for the tiniest inconsistency in order to discredit the entire story. For example, I told her that Bill and I would meet at the Excelsior Hotel, among other places, when I visited him in Little Rock. But when the story was printed, it sounded as though the Excelsior was our exclusive hangout.

John Robert Starr, a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, jumped on that tidbit right away. He got a whole column out of the fact that the Excelsior hadn't even been built during some of the time I was claiming to have met Bill there. Because of that one misstatement of fact, he cast doubt on the rest of the story. He, by the way, was the columnist who claimed to have talked to each of the women in Larry Nichols' lawsuit ... but he never even tried to contact me.

But he wasn't the only one trying to cast doubt on my credibility. The story mentioned how I had traveled with the Roy Clark Show, and some reporter decided to check up on that information. The publicist at Roy's office was new, and she told the caller she didn't know Gennifer Flowers, but would check on it. The next day's headlines were all about how Roy Clark had denied I was his back-up singer! Roy, bless his heart, later made a public statement on the Joan Rivers Show that I had indeed traveled with him as a back-up singer. He further said he had a lot of respect for me, which I thought took a lot of guts considering my character had been shredded to the point I was perceived as the queen of evil by then.

Marion was very nice to me, and it wasn't long before I warmed up to her. Ultimately, I developed a great respect for her ability as a reporter. She seemed to understand how difficult it was for me to reveal personal details of my relationship with Bill, and she went out of her way to make me feel comfortable. By the time we were done with the interviews, I had grown attached to her. We had spent so much time together and I had spilled my guts so thoroughly to her that she almost seemed like my personal psychiatrist.

Before the big issue of the Star even hit the newsstands, the national media got hold of advance copies, and the story was all over the country, seemingly within hours. The European media picked up on it, too, and were writing and broadcasting about the latest American political scandal. European newspapers were calling me the "the most dangerous woman in America." That nickname stuck and popped up in almost every subsequent news article. Meanwhile, I was thrust into a cloak-and-dagger existence in New York.

The Star wouldn't let me stay in any hotel for more than a day or two, for fear some other reporter might find me. But changing hotels was an adventure in itself. I had to disguise myself with wigs and dark glasses when I went outside, and I had to register under a different false name at every hotel.

I was a wreck. This wasn't getting easier, it was just getting increasingly confusing and frightening. As much as Blake was helping me and offering emotional support, I felt cast adrift. Poor Mother was back in Missouri going crazy. I was calling her from the various hotel rooms I was in, but I was so paranoid, I wasn't certain my calls weren't being monitored. I needed someone I could trust completely there with me. So the Star agreed to fly Mother to New York.

I was never happier to see anyone in my life. As soon as she arrived, I collapsed with the flu. I was so beat down. I went to bed with a fever, feeling like death, and watched Bill and Hillary refute my story on Sixty Minutes. As soon as the first two Star issues came out with my story, Bill's spin doctors went to work. Bill had already vehemently denied the story, saying I had made it all up for money. My reaction to that was if it were supposedly untrue and no big deal, why were they reacting in such a big way?

As sick as I was, nothing could keep me from watching Bill and Hillary on television that night. I propped my head up on a couple of pillows and pulled the blankets up around my chin to help battle the chills I was having. The show began, and as the camera focused in on Bill, conflicting emotions bounced around inside me. In spite of everything I was going through because of him, he was still the man I had loved for many years. To see him on television with the knowledge I probably would never be able to see him face-to-face again made my heart ache.

Then the interview began. I was astonished at how lightly Steve Kroft, the Sixty Minutes reporter, treated Bill. Steve asked him a few pointed questions, but never tried to pin him to the mat. It was the Bill and Hillary show, all the way, and was designed to make Bill come out on the other side looking like the injured party. Bill and Hillary played the happy couple, lying through their teeth, and Steve Kroft let them get away with it.

I was seething with outrage. To watch the two of them sit there with innocent looks on their faces, lying to the entire country, was infuriating. I saw a side of Bill Clinton that night that I had never seen before, and I was disgusted. This was not the man I had fallen in love with. I didn't really expect Bill to come right out and admit he had been involved with me, but I had hoped, for his own good, he would be a little more honest with the American people and at least own up to some fooling around.

Don Hewitt, the Sixty Minutes executive producer, admitted later that they really weren't looking for the truth on that show. He said the purpose of that show was to get ratings. They knew they had a hot item and that the show was going to be on immediately after the Super Bowl. It was sensational and they had a built-in audience. They didn't need to do any hard investigating. And people say the Star lacks credibility! Sixty Minutes sure didn't expend any effort to interview me. No one called me and said they were interviewing Bill Clinton and would like to get my response. It was all hype, and Bill took advantage of every opportunity to make himself look good.

I imagined the conversation that must have taken place between Bill and Hillary, and bet Hillary did all the talking, saying, "It's going to be real hard for you to run for president while you're going through a divorce, and if you humiliate me in front of the nation, that's exactly what's going to happen. I don't give a damn what you want to do; you better deny it." And that's exactly what Bill did. I don't think he felt he had a choice but to deny it because of Hillary.

Had he been smart, he would have put it all to rest by acknowledging there had been other women, but that was in the past, their marriage was strong, and they were going forward. Bill would have been a hero! He would have created the appearance of a politician who could tell the truth, even if it was painful. People can relate to politicians being human and probably would have had a lot of respect for his honesty.

But he didn't do that. Even though he denied having an affair with me and accused me of fabricating the story for profit, he wouldn't come right out and say he had been faithful to Hillary. He left that little door open for people to doubt his honesty, and most people really did think he was being untruthful. Consequently, he has had to struggle with character issues since the beginning of his campaign, and they have only gotten worse as the years pass. It was a calculated political move on his part to deny, but be evasive, and I think whoever persuaded him to handle it that way gave him bad advice.

Watching Sixty Minutes that night, intellectually I understood what Bill was trying to do. I knew Hillary had more than a little influence over the things he said, and I also knew he was desperately trying to salvage his campaign. My emotional reaction, however, was a little different. I thought he was a son of a bitch. What a crummy thing to do. I wasn't the one lying -- Bill was. I hadn't asked to be in the public spotlight -- Bill had. I had been unwillingly stripped naked for the world to examine, and dismissed as unworthy, and Bill was the catalyst for that dismissal. The emotional pain that resulted from seeing Bill on Sixty Minutes was some of the worst I had ever experienced.

Not only did he betray me, but he also continued to betray me by organizing a massive character assassination that went full-steam ahead from that day forward. He knew I wasn't a bad person. If I were, if my motivation had been to plot against him, I could have had his butt in a sling long before then. When he waged an all-out campaign to discredit me and shred my character, he knew what his people were doing to me, and he let it happen. He may have felt bad about it to some degree, but he wasn't willing to stop it. He left me dangling in the wind in an impossible situation.

I was devastated. I had really hit rock bottom. I took measure of what I had gained and what I had lost, and what I had lost seemed much larger at that point. I had achieved my goals of high visibility and financial security, but my lover of twelve years had denied me to the world and dismissed me as a gold-digger. All we had shared was rendered meaningless, and all our beautiful memories were tarnished when he so casually tossed me to the wolves.

Immediately after the Sixty Minutes interview with Bill and Hillary, the Star people came to me and said, "You have to do a press conference." I was still sick in bed, I could hardly lift my head, and they were telling me I had to hold a press conference. All I really wanted to do was go home, crawl in bed, and pull the covers up over my head. This wasn't what I had anticipated, and I wanted it to be over.

But they told me because Bill had denied our relationship, I had to go in front of the public and establish my credibility. I had to let people see and hear me, let them know I wasn't some monster. Their plan was to play a few excerpts from the tapes to let people hear for themselves that it was, indeed, Bill Clinton speaking. I was too sick to argue, and thought it best to take their advice. I couldn't remember ever being in such a low emotional state, but I wasn't ready to roll over and die either. If there was something I could do to make myself believable, I was more than willing to do it. Through the haze of fever, I realized the Star had an additional motive in putting me in front of news cameras: capitalizing on Bill and Hillary's television appearance would only sell more magazines. I didn't care about that, though, I just wanted to be believed.

The Star people talked with me a little bit, trying to determine what points to make at the press conference. Then they helped me prepare a statement. Even though the statement was based on my thoughts, it came out much stronger than I had intended.

Blake and I were picked up the next day in Connecticut, where we were staying by then, by a beautiful white limousine filled with lawyers and staff members from the Star, and taken to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The Star had rented the ballroom, and it was jam-packed with television, radio, and magazine reporters from all over the world. The camera people were stacked ten deep in front of the stage. Fortunately, the Star had arranged for a strong security force, and I was grateful. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of reporters there. It was hard to imagine that all those people were interested in me. A Star executive told me later that he hadn't seen a press conference that large for anyone besides George Bush, the president of the United States.

Blake made a few opening remarks, addressing some items reported in the Star article that had been questioned, trying to clear up any discrepancies. Then I got up and read my statement, and a few excerpts from the tapes were played. I was feeling much better but was still weak from the flu. Had I been physically strong, I think I would have been psychologically stronger, too. But as it was, I felt almost removed from the scene, like an out-of-body experience. I didn't have the tiniest clue what was going to happen, and didn't really care a whole lot.

After I completed my statement, I took questions from the press. One reporter asked about my state job, but I couldn't give him a lengthy answer because it was just too complicated. I knew that the full story of how I got my state job would be covered in detail in the final Star issue of my story, which would be coming out the following week. So I told him his question would be answered then.

They asked if I was afraid of Bill Clinton, if I was trying to disqualify him from the White House, and if I was trying to set him up when I taped the calls. They were tough questions, but I tried to answer as honestly as I could.

Then from the crowd of reporters came a loud voice asking if Bill used a condom when we had sex. I found out later he was "Stuttering John" Melendez from the Howard Stern Show, who made a career of asking outrageous questions. But I didn't know that at the time, and I thought, "Oh great, here we go." I have to admit, I was chuckling inside, because I couldn't believe he had the guts to ask that question. But I kept a straight face, and Blake told the crowd if there were any more degrading questions, the press conference would be over.

From that moment on, most reporters asked very serious, insightful questions. I thought the press conference was actually going pretty well. The questions were getting tougher, though. I was asked if Bill had ever advised me to just tell the truth (which he hadn't) and if I had ever been approached by the Republican Party (which I had). The question that touched me the most was from a reporter who asked if Bill's denial of our relationship hurt me. Just hearing that question gave my heart a turn, and I answered softly, "Yes, very much."

We had been advised by the Star to try to avoid women reporters. They said women tended to be more judgmental with their questions. But I had noticed a woman standing in the group, nicely dressed, very well groomed, and smiling sweetly at me. Blake was choosing reporters to ask questions, so I whispered to him to select her as the next questioner. Big mistake! She asked me one of the meanest and most insulting questions of the entire press conference. She asked me if I felt sleazy for having taped the conversations. I answered her, saying I did not feel sleazy, but I thought, "Gennifer, you buffoon. She really took you in." Little did I know, she wasn't going to be the last one to take me in. That was the first indication to me of how my taping our conversations was going to be perceived by a large percentage of the public -- not as self-protection, but as "sleazy."

Just like that it was over. I was surrounded by security people hustling me out, and as we neared the exit, a photographer got a little too close. Without warning, he was slammed up against the wall by a security guard. Once again, my mind had trouble acknowledging that I was at the center of all the commotion.

Riding back to the hotel, the intensity and the seriousness of the events of the day really started to sink in. This was a major event in the world right then, and there was little ol' me right in the middle of it. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Was I doing the right thing? Was I being used? What did Bill think of all this? What was I doing?

I wouldn't let Mother go with me to the press conference. I didn't know what to expect, and I just didn't want her to get caught up in anything ugly. So she stayed at the hotel in Connecticut, nervously watching the press conference on TV; and when I got back, she grabbed on to me and wouldn't let go. Our hotel room du jour had two bedrooms, and both CNN and the New York local news had carried the press conference live. Mother had run from one bedroom to the next, watching both stations, trying to get every detail, all the while worried to death about her little girl.

When I finally found a quiet moment that evening, I reflected on the events of the previous few days. It all could have turned out so differently. I wish I would have had the opportunity to give Bill some advice about the whole situation. In the past, I had often advised him when he was in a sticky mess, and, more often than not, he took my advice. When he made an idiot of himself at the Democratic convention in the summer of 1988 with a speech that dragged on forever and just about put the crowd to sleep, he called me. He was distraught and angry. He believed he had been set up by Michael Dukakis' people because they considered Bill a potential candidate who might one day oppose Dukakis, and they wanted to make him look bad. So they gave him that horrible speech to read, and the crowd cheered when he finally shut up.

He had gotten an offer to appear on The Tonight Show, but he didn't want to do it. He felt he already looked enough like a monkey and didn't want to make it any worse. I told him, "If you've got any sense at all, you'll do it. Go on there and let people see you as a person. Just be yourself and dispel all this crap." That's exactly what he did. He went on the show, played his saxophone, let Johnny Carson poke fun at him, and he laughed at himself. The criticism about his speech died out right away.

Had I been given the opportunity to advise Bill about the exposure of our affair, I would have told him to go before the American people and tell them the truth. At least then people could have made up their minds about him on the basis of their personal convictions, not on whether or not they thought he was a liar.

News of our relationship would have flared up and died out in the blink of an eye had he just owned up to it and moved on. But he had to lie. And that set us both on a long, twisted path that would keep our affair in the public eye and make it part of history.

I had many thoughts that evening after the press conference. But my greatest wish was to pack my bags and get out of New York. I was totally drained, emotionally and physically. I was sick, tired, and scared, and all I wanted to do was take the money I had gotten for the story, go someplace, and be anonymous. I wanted to start my life over as best I could. I had no intention of doing anything else with the media -- I just wanted to go away and be left alone. But, it wasn't to be.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:06 am


I hadn't called Finis to forewarn him about the Star story before it hit the newsstands. He saw it, of course, along with the televised press conference, and called all over New York looking for me. I didn't call him until after I got back to Little Rock, and he was going out of his mind with worry. It pleased me to know that even though our relationship was on ice, I could still count on him to be a source of strength.

He never came right out and said he couldn't handle it anymore and didn't want to see me. He didn't have to; I knew it intuitively. I was heartbroken and hated the thought of losing the only man who was wonderful enough to pry me away from Bill Clinton. In the back of my mind I held out some hope that maybe I could salvage our relationship, but I also knew it was going to take all my emotional energy just to survive. Every ounce of strength had to be put into dealing with my situation. I had to let go of Finis.

I couldn't be with him and pretend everything was the way it used to be, and he couldn't look at me the same way, either. I hoped I could trust him and that he would always be there for me, but it wasn't fair to pull him into my own personal whirlpool of controversy. Without ever speaking the words, our plans for a life together melted away. We kept in touch, and I never doubted Finis cared about me, but the relationship we had shared before I went to New York was over.

Even though I grew up in Arkansas, I had no inkling of what was in store for me when I got back to Little Rock. The power structure in Arkansas continues to amaze me to this day. The local media picked on Bill, but they didn't like it when someone from outside their little group criticized him. The national media was brutal with the local boys. They couldn't understand why Arkansas had this story about Larry Nichols' lawsuit all along but never went anywhere with it.

What the national media didn't understand was Bill could have gotten away with just about anything in Arkansas. The good ol' boy system was more concerned with what Bill could do for them than what they could do to Bill. The worldwide press made Arkansas journalists look like idiots for sitting on the story. They had egg all over their faces, and they took it out on me.

Arkansas was my home. I may not have been a nationally known politician, but I had accomplished a lot in the entertainment business and was a source of pride for Arkansas. Many newspaper articles were written praising my achievements in the entertainment business. But the newspapers turned on me like barracudas when the outside media made them look incompetent. Before I even got back to Little Rock, the local newspapers had launched a campaign to discredit me.

As Blake and I headed back to Little Rock, I thought about how I needed a few days to pack up and decide where to go, and I hoped I could do so with a minimum of attention. We had to change planes halfway to Little Rock, and while we were waiting for our flight, Blake went to get a magazine. I was seated in the terminal and could see people looking at me and whispering. My face was plastered all over the news by this time, and people were recognizing me.

As I waited for Blake to come back, a man walked by me, turned around, glared at me, and said, "I hope they paid you enough." I pretended not to hear him, but a chill went through my body. I was further dismayed when I saw him get on our same flight to Little Rock. Blake returned, and I told him what had happened. He told me not to worry, the Star had provided us with first class tickets, so we weren't likely to run into him again.

After we were seated on the plane, I told Blake, "I guarantee you, before this flight's over, he'll walk up here." Sure enough, before we landed, he walked up to first class, used the rest room, and as he walked back down the aisle, he glared at me again. This wasn't a good start, and it scared me.

We landed in Little Rock, and because no one knew we were coming, no reporters were at the airport. I got to my apartment, and Blake helped me with my bags, then left me on my own. It was the first time in two weeks I had been alone, and for a few moments I enjoyed the silence. But no more than ten minutes had passed when someone knocked on the door. I peered out through the peephole but couldn't tell if the person standing at the door was a reporter. The thought wasn't too far from my mind that it could very well be someone who meant me physical harm.

Needless to say, I didn't answer the door. I peeked out through the drapes occasionally, and people were starting to gather. Word was getting around: I was home. Most of them had cameras, but I actually felt a little reassured thinking that even though I wasn't anxious to have a lot of reporters around, at least there was safety in numbers. The Arkansas press could do whatever they wanted to me, but I wasn't anxious to tangle with any of Bill's boys.

Then my telephone rang. I jumped a foot and just stared at it. I wouldn't answer it, but as soon as it stopped ringing, it would start up again. It was more than a little unnerving. In between calls, I grabbed the phone and frantically dialed a friend. I begged her to come get me -- I had to get out of there. My apartment had a picture window that looked out on the front, but my doorway was in back, off a hallway. I noticed that the reporters seemed to congregate on one side of the building, so I told my friend to come in on the quiet side, and we could try to slip out through the back.

How we managed to avoid the reporters, I haven't a clue. But we missed them all. When she brought me home later, it was the same routine. I got back inside without encountering anyone, but within ten seconds, the knocking started again. Either they were very stupid, or I was very lucky.

Mother wanted to come to Little Rock to help me move, but I wasn't about to put her in any danger or subject her to all those crazy reporters. I called my dear friend, Margie Moore, whom I had met while we both were working at the Cipango Club in Dallas. Margie sang in the lounge at the Cipango for thirty-four years, and we became close friends almost as soon as we met. She is a lovely, petite Italian woman with brown hair, brown eyes, and a gentle smile. We had maintained frequent contact no matter where I was living and working.

Margie was still in Dallas, and when I talked to her on the telephone she urged me to move back. "You still have friends in Dallas, kid," she told me. Margie had been called by dozens of reporters and interviewed by Inside Edition, but the interview was never aired, presumably because it put me in a positive light.

Margie had known about Bill and me and was eager to lend a supportive hand. I thought about it for maybe ten seconds before I decided Dallas was where I would go. There was no possibility of staying in Little Rock unless I wanted to hibernate until the election was over. That wasn't very appealing, and I had difficulty believing I could pull it off in the first place. I made up my mind to go to Dallas right away and find a place to live. I caught a plane, and Margie picked me up at the airport. It took us one day to find an apartment and buy a new car.

The car I already had was still sitting in the garage of my apartment building in Little Rock. It had been there the entire two weeks I was in New York, and the garage was easily accessible to anyone who wanted to get in. There was nothing in the world that could induce me to get in that car and start it up. I was painfully aware that I was not a popular lady in Arkansas by that time. And Bill had a multitude of hangers on who wouldn't hesitate to do anything if they thought it might help him. Every time I thought about starting my car, I would picture a huge explosion.

I had a friend named Tanya in Little Rock who was really struggling. She had three children and received little or no child support. I was amazed at how she worked two or three jobs at a time to support her kids. She would literally go from job to job to job, just to put food on the table. I called her and said, "Look, I want to level with you. I am not sure there isn't a bomb in my car. I'm afraid to start it or even touch it for that matter. But if you've got the guts to start it, it's yours."

My car was a little Mazda RX-7, several years old but in perfect condition. It was a good car, and I knew it would help her out a lot to have a car for her teenage son. There was no way she could afford to buy one. Tanya thought about it for maybe two seconds, and said, "I'll take the chance." I immediately regretted the offer. I told her, "Please understand, I care about you, and this could be it!" She told me not to worry, she'd bring her son and her dad, and they would check it out thoroughly. Her dad, she told me, knew a lot about cars and would be able to spot anything amiss.

Margie drove back to Little Rock with me in my new car, and I called Tanya and asked if she was still interested in the Mazda. She was, and came to the garage with her son and father. I was shaking like a leaf, and feeling kind of funny about dragging her into my deal. I said, "Now, Tanya, I mean it. I'm not standing close to this car while you're trying to start it." But her dad and her son had carefully inspected it, didn't find a thing unusual, and she was ready to start it up.

Margie and I huddled together like chickens at the far end of the garage, expecting the worst. I felt like a murderer and wished I had kept my mouth shut. If anything happened to Tanya, it would be my fault. Tanya got in, turned the key, and it wouldn't start -- wouldn't start -- wouldn't start; and finally it turned over. The engine roared to life. No bomb! I was shaking with relief! Tanya had her car, was safe, and I had one less thing to worry about.

I kept trying to tell myself that I was letting unreasonable fears take over my better sense, but even today, as I look back, I know that wasn't the case. The fear I experienced was legitimate. Too many bad, and sometimes fatal things had happened to people who dared to cross Bill Clinton. And I had crossed him in the worst possible way: I was threatening to bring down his candidacy for the president of the United States. A lot of people in Arkansas wanted very badly for Bill to be president. It's hard to predict what a sick or overly ambitious mind might think up.

Margie and I were packing a few things to take back to Dallas, and, as usual, the phone was ringing off the wall. Margie decided to have some fun, and she answered one of the calls. Someone named Rusty was calling from Nashville and wanted to put together a record deal with me. In fun, Margie told him she had just gotten that telephone number a few days earlier, and Rusty gasped, "Do you know whose number you have?" Margie said, "Why, no, I don't." "Do you know that little filly who was involved with Bill Clinton?" Rusty asked. Margie got a good laugh out of that -- I'm glad someone did. I wasn't about to answer the telephone.

* * * *

Blake and several of my friends had talked to me about going on television at least once so people could see me in person instead of just reading about me in the newspaper. So just before leaving Little Rock, I agreed to appear on A Current Affair. The reason I chose that particular show was simple: they offered me the most money. I wasn't crazy about the idea of doing the show, but I relied on the advice of my attorney and my friends. And if they felt I should do it, then I was going to make damn sure I was well compensated for it.

After all I had been through, I was feeling less and less guilty about being paid for talking about my relationship with Bill. My attitude had definitely changed, and for that I offer my deepest apologies to the American people. It was not my original intent to capitalize on my notoriety. But I had been called names, criticized, vilified, and ridiculed, all for telling the truth. And since the media made money off my story, why shouldn't I?

Maureen O'Boyle conducted the interview for A Current Affair, and she went fairly easy on me. She pressed me a little on the content of the tapes, asking me why the conversation wasn't sexier if Bill and I were supposed to be lovers. I told her that our relationship had ended nearly two years before the tapes were made, and it would have been inappropriate for us to have had an intimate conversation at that time. She tried to trip me up on a few details, but backed off quickly when she wasn't able to.

I was pleased A Current Affair treated me as a human being talking about a hurtful situation rather than as a scheming opportunist. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, though, while we were taping the interview. When we would take a break for a few minutes, Steve Dunleavy, a show executive, would huddle with Maureen, and I would secretively confer with Blake. It reminded me of fighters in a ring, each going to his corner between rounds to get advice and encouragement. When we resumed the interview, Maureen would be all charged up and try to maneuver me into a corner, but again, she wasn't able to do it.

With my appearance on A Current Affair behind me, I headed for my new home. I had called a mover to come pack the rest of my belongings and move everything to Dallas. I gave strict instructions not to speak to the media. But the reporters wouldn't leave those poor movers alone, trying to get any piece of information they could about where I was going. The movers had an extremely difficult time loading the truck. But they finally managed to get everything loaded, escape the reporters, and head to Dallas.

Even though I breathed a sigh a relief to be out of Little Rock and to have regained a little bit of privacy, I felt kind of sad, too. I had virtually been driven out of town under a black cloud, and I wasn't happy about that. My immediate plans were to get settled, then do what I had always done: get back into the entertainment business. I really thought my time in the spotlight was over and I could get back to life as usual.

Once again, wishful thinking.

After the movers delivered my things in Dallas, I set about unpacking and arranging furniture. As haphazard as my packing and the move had been, I expected to be missing any number of possessions. But there was only one box missing, and, coincidentally, it was the box that contained the little twenty dollar tape recorder I had used to tape my conversations with Bill.

I hadn't completely recovered from the flu I had while I was in New York, and I had started coughing again while Margie and I were packing my things in Little Rock. I was trying to get organized in Dallas, but I was feeling worse and worse. I finally reached the point where I had so little strength, I couldn't even lift a box. I went to the doctor and he quickly diagnosed me with pneumonia.

He prescribed vitamins and antibiotics, but also told me I had to go to bed until the pneumonia went away. I had been under so much emotional stress from the events of the past few weeks and under so much physical stress from the flu that hadn't gone away, I was in bad shape. There I was in my new apartment, with boxes stacked to the ceiling, and I had to go to bed.

It took three months before I was completely recovered, and not a peaceful three months, either. Blake was calling me constantly with offers from the media. Everyone wanted to do a story or an interview with Gennifer Flowers. All the talk shows wanted me, the European media was after me, and I just wanted to be left alone. Blake was really getting into the swing of things, however. No one knew how to find me, thank God, but he was getting hundreds of calls and was thrust into the position of acting as my agent.

Once I did A Current Affair, I had intended to retire from the public eye for awhile, but it just wasn't working. While I was in bed with pneumonia, Bill Clinton and his campaign workers continued their offensive against Gennifer Flowers that left me stunned. Twenty or thirty other women came forward during this time saying they had had an involvement with Bill. His aide, Betsey Wright, coined the phrase "The Bimbo Eruption" to describe the other women ... and it spread like wildfire. And guess who was named the head bimbo?

I was vilified for having had an affair with a married man. I freely admit I'm no saint, and I have never tried to justify or excuse my behavior. But from all the finger pointing and accusations, you would think I was the first woman ever to get involved with a married man. Somehow the whole, sordid mess became my fault, and Bill was just an innocent victim. Being called a bimbo stirred up a volcano of anger in me. Yes, I had an affair with a married man. Yes, it was the wrong thing to do, and I have spent a lot of time over the past few years asking God for forgiveness. But to be dismissed as a bimbo because of my bad judgment in one area of my life was more than I could ignore. The volcano was about to erupt.

I knew it was all political maneuvering on Bill's part, and game-playing on the part of the media. But it was infuriating. I was painted as a blonde, airheaded, gold-digger, and Bill was coming out of it smelling like a rose. The media sided with him. And all I had done was tell the truth and offer the only proof. Of all the women who came forward with allegations of involvement with Bill, I was the only one with any real proof, and it still wasn't good enough.

Bill had always maintained he was bulletproof. And, to a large degree, he was right. The Republicans were handed that election on a plate, and they screwed it up. It astonished me that Bill was able to survive all the revelations about his womanizing and draft dodging and still win the election. He wasn't even the Democratic front-runner when my story broke; Bob Kerrey and Paul Tsongas were both ahead of him.

Linda Bloodworth-Thomasen, Bill's friend from Arkansas who now is a Hollywood television producer, explained it best. A magazine article quoted her as saying she knew as soon as my story came out that Bill would be elected president. She could appreciate the value of publicity, whether it's positive or negative.

More power to Bill, I thought. If he could turn negative publicity into something positive for his campaign, why not? I just resented being run over as part of his strategy. The Clinton campaign staff went so far as to hire a private investigator, Jack Palladino, to investigate my background. I found this out from friends and relatives who called to tell me he had approached them with a lot of questions about me. He went all over the country looking for dirt on me. If I had ever so much as kicked a dog, he would have found out about it.

As much as I resented having my character and credibility trashed, the idea that campaign dollars might be paying for it sickened me.

Though I knew I was alone against a powerful machine, my determination to establish my credibility was growing. After all, I had the truth on my side -- Bill was the one who was lying, not me. I decided to release the tapes, thinking if people could hear Bill's voice plotting to cover up and use me as a pawn, they would have to believe I was telling the truth. The Star had printed excerpts from the tapes in their articles, but few people had ever had the opportunity to actually hear Bill Clinton's voice scheming to save his political rear end.

I knew, too, that not one time on the tapes did Bill worry about how any scandal might affect his family. He never expressed any concern about what it might do to his wife or his child, or even to me for that matter. He was concerned only with how he could protect himself, how he could cover himself. I decided the American public needed to hear this.

I planned to subscribe to a 900 number so the public could call and hear the tapes. I intended to charge only as much as it would cost to cover my expenses. I have no aversion to making money, but that was not my goal in doing this. My representatives contacted AT&T, and we were in the process of getting it set up, when I was attacked from all sides. First, AT&T turned me down with no explanation.

Then I heard from a group of Republicans who offered to buy the tapes from me for $900,000. They would run them, keep whatever revenue they generated, and, with any luck, fatally damage Bill Clinton's candidacy. Nine hundred thousand dollars! That was a ton of money, but, even so, I quickly vetoed that idea. It was not my intention to have the tapes used as a Republican tool. This was not a vendetta against Bill; it was my personal quest for vindication. I also didn't trust the Republicans to not doctor the tapes to make them fit their own purposes. I knew I needed to maintain control of the tapes.

Finally, the Democrats chimed in, claiming I would be violating fair campaign practices by releasing the tapes, and threatening me if I did so. I knew there was no way anyone could stop me from releasing them, threats or no threats, but it got so complicated I decided to not do it.
I desperately wanted to clear my name, but I could see that I would run into so many roadblocks, my situation could actually get worse. I was smart enough to realize I was outnumbered and it might be a good time to retreat and regroup. The tapes were safe, and I could always release them at a later date. I didn't especially care when I cleared my name just so long as it could be accomplished eventually.

Meanwhile, it was starting to sink in that I was not going to get my life back. Having pneumonia for three months prevented me from even considering a singing job, and the unrelenting media attention didn't help either. Things might have settled down a little had I not been so determined to get a fair hearing. My anger at the gross inequities thrown my way prevented me from just lying down on the railroad tracks and letting the train run over me. I'm a fighter, and this was one of the biggest fights of my life. I wasn't about to let people think badly of me without doing everything I could to help them reach an informed opinion.

November 7, 1992 was Election Day. I had a fairly serious interest in the results of the election that year. I went to the polls with my decision made and voted for Ross Perot because by now I believed that Bill's vengeance toward me and the deception on his part could affect the whole country. I did not believe he was qualified to be president of the United States. And, like many other Americans, I felt we didn't need another four years of George Bush.

I was watching the returns on television when Finis called me from Little Rock. He was at the Excelsior Hotel, which was teeming with Bill's supporters. Finis' words burned into my ear: "Well, he's been elected." It was no surprise, of course, but I was apprehensive.

What would happen to me now?

It quickly became apparent that certain members of the media were not yet through with me. Inauguration Day presented a great opportunity in the eyes of many media types. I received offers worth probably twenty thousand dollars or more to do all kinds of things. One group wanted me to critique Hillary's wardrobe; another asked me to sing at a club in Chicago on that day; plus I had offers to do personal interviews on radio stations. But I just wasn't interested; I turned them all down.

Even after all I had been through, I wanted to let Bill and Hillary have their day. It was also a day for the citizens of America to feel hopeful. I had no desire to position myself as a vindictive woman on that day. Everything I did was perceived as a jab at Bill Clinton, and I didn't want any part of that on Inauguration Day. I wanted the country to feel good, at least for that one day, because I doubted the people of America would feel good about Bill Clinton as their president for very long.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:06 am


Several months before the election took place, the telephone rang one day while I was lying in bed recovering from my battle with pneumonia. Blake Hendrix was still serving as my attorney/agent, and he had just received an interesting offer. Playboy magazine wanted to do a photo layout and article about me. My initial reaction was negative -- I really wasn't interested at all. But Blake persisted, "You need to know, this deal could be worth about a million dollars." That caught my attention.

This was something I had never even given a passing thought to. Magazines like Playboy and Penthouse didn't offend me, and I firmly believe women have the right to do whatever they wish with regard to nude photography. But it was never an option for me or something I aspired to even in my wildest dreams. The prospect of a million dollars, however, made me look at it from a different perspective. I had been offered nearly that much by the Republicans when they wanted to buy my tapes, but I refused to let those tapes be used in ways I couldn't control.

This was different, though. I was reasonably certain I could manage a Playboy photo layout with a minimum of difficulty. Blake and I had barely started talking about it when Penthouse entered the picture and started a bidding war with Playboy. Penthouse was offering an even more substantial package: a large sum up front, and part of the proceeds from the actual sales of the magazine. I was told the earning potential could be as high as ten million dollars. That kind of money was beyond my most optimistic expectations and was too seductive to turn down. My financial security would be guaranteed for life, and there would be a bonus: my story would be told in a way that wasn't sensational or muck-raking.

Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse, absolutely wooed me. He assured me, "This will be about you. Bill Clinton will be in it, of course, but it will be a love story."
He went on to say many actresses and other entertainers had posed for Penthouse or Playboy to further their careers: Kim Basinger and Sharon Stone, for example. He went on and on about how a nude pictorial of me would be a thing of beauty; I would be proud of it. Guccione's favorite line was, "Be a part of our Penthouse family." That didn't paint a particularly pretty picture in my mind, but ten million dollars was a powerful incentive to keep my opinions to myself. I would be set free financially.

Playboy wouldn't match Penthouse's offer, so I was eager and ready to sign a deal with Bob Guccione. Blake had met with Victor Kovner, Penthouse's lawyer, and Blake realized he was way out of his league. Blake's expertise was in criminal law, not entertainment law, so he suggested I find a representative more experienced in matters of that nature, as he didn't feel able to adequately represent me in dealings with Penthouse. He had been an exceptionally good friend and adviser to me throughout the ordeal, and I appreciated his honesty.

After considering a couple of people who turned out to be inept, a friend suggested I talk with Roy True, who had been Mickey Mantle's business manager for twenty-five years. When I met with him, I liked him and decided to hire him. Roy was in his late fifties at the time and very distinguished looking, with white hair and pretty blue eyes. He was part of a well-respected Dallas firm, and I could tell immediately that he was an intelligent man. Plus, the chemistry between us felt good. He had a lot of experience with contract negotiations and I felt he was the right person to handle the Penthouse deal for me.

We negotiated the deal, and even though I was apprehensive about posing nude, the prospect of having an article written that would tell my side of the story for a change was very exciting. I was also breathing a huge sigh of relief over the promise of never having to worry about money again.

My contract didn't specify exactly how much money I would receive, aside from the amount paid to me up front. But Guccione gave me lots of examples of other women who had a lot of notoriety, like me, and how they had ultimately profited. He threw a lot of numbers at me: so many magazines sold would translate into so many dollars. And I was truly overwhelmed. If only half his predictions came true, five million dollars was certainly more than enough to give me security for life.

The magazine assigned Art Harris to write the article. I had never heard of him, nor had I read anything he had written, but I was assured he was the perfect person to write my love story. Art cut an imposing figure with his shaved head and steely, penetrating eyes, but he had a gentle manner. His voice was soft, and he was generously flattering. It was important that he gain my confidence, and he was skilled in doing so. He made me feel secure that he was going to write the story in the way it had been promised. He asked for a list of people whom I had known for years or who had been involved in my life, so he could develop my background and gain insight into my personality. After he interviewed me extensively, he called or met with many old friends and family members, gathering information and opinion.

Warning flags went up, however, when all those people, one by one, called to tell me Art Harris was no friend of mine. They complained he was trying to put words into their mouths, trying to get them to say things that weren't true. No one liked him, and no one trusted him.

These reports were making me extremely nervous, and I became downright agitated when I learned he was working with Jack Palladino, the private investigator hired by the Clinton campaign to unearth damaging information on me. I called Jane Hamish, Bob Guccione's personal assistant, and told her, "I don't like this guy. I have a real bad feeling about him."

Jane tried to calm my fears by explaining that Art Harris was simply caught up in his assignment. She went on to say he always got very involved in whatever his subject was and he was probably just being a little too aggressive. My worry level increased, though, when she said, "We probably should have gotten somebody else who would have been better to do this than he, because he's an investigative reporter." But she tried to reassure me. "Don't worry," she said, "we'll edit the story."

Before I'd agreed to do the Penthouse piece, I had made an agreement with Guccione that specified I had a right to review and approve the article and pictorial before they were published. So even though I was concerned Art Harris might be doing a hatchet job on me, I knew I could demand it be rewritten before it went to print. So I tried to put my fears at rest, blaming my anxiety on my wholesale trashing by the media. After all, I reasoned, Penthouse had sought me out. They were the ones who came to me wanting to do an objective and sensitive article. I really had no reason to mistrust them.

I shifted my focus to the photo shoot that was looming ahead. I had to get it over with, so I flew to Los Angeles, alone. Penthouse sent a car to pick me up at the airport, and I went directly to the hotel, where I was to meet Earl Miller, the photographer assigned to my pictorial.

I had talked to Earl on the telephone a few times, and he seemed like a nice man, but I was still a little wary of meeting him. We rendezvoused at the front desk of the hotel, and I was immediately impressed by his easy-going, unimposing appearance. He had that California look -- jacket with the sleeves pushed up -- and seemed relaxed and friendly.

We went immediately to my room, where he was planning to get an idea of what my body was like so he could prepare for the photo session. I had brought a few articles of clothing with me I thought we might possibly use during the shoot, and he asked me to put them on. I knew I had to comply, but I was a bundle of nerves.

I'm very shy with my body; I always have been. I may show a little cleavage on occasion, but I've never been one to expose a lot of skin when I dress. I'm aware of what my best features are, and I'm not likely to flaunt the parts that aren't great. My grandmother used to say, "If it doesn't look good, don't set it out on the front porch." I was a little concerned, too, because I had heard all kinds of wild stories about skin magazines and the men who put them together. I had never done anything like this before and just didn't know what to expect.

I retreated to the bathroom, dreading what I had to do, but determined to go through with it. I put on a little lace teddy, stood there for a moment gathering my courage, and timidly emerged for Earl's inspection. He had a studious, thoughtful look on his face, and didn't seem at all moved by the fact that a total stranger was standing in front of him in her underwear. To my delight, he couldn't have been more professional. He truly only wanted to see what he was going to have to deal with and what he would have to do to make me look good in the photos. As he scrutinized me, he told me he was trying to determine how he would use clothes, lighting, and positioning to my benefit. He also thought out loud about what props he might need to get for the shoot.

Earl had me do one or two turns for him, and, to my relief, that was it. I couldn't help thinking how differently he reacted to me standing there in my sheer teddy compared to the way Bill had always reacted. Earl was pure professional, while Bill had always been so excited and approving.

I went back into the bathroom, got dressed, and then we sat and talked for awhile. He talked about his wife, Margo Adams, who had been involved with Wade Boggs, the baseball player, and had gotten a lot of media attention because of it. Earl knew I could relate to her experience and generously suggested I talk with her before I left L.A. She had done a pictorial for Penthouse when her affair with Wade was splashed all over the newspapers and television, and Earl met her during the photo shoot.

Earl was well into his fifties when he married the first time, and he and Margo had a new baby boy. Gradually I became very comfortable with him because he was so obviously enthusiastic about his marriage and his young son. By the time he left, I was relaxed and much less apprehensive about the next day's photo shoot.

Bright and early the next morning, Earl and I went to a costume company to see what we could find to use for the photo shoot. We would be doing the shoot in a gorgeous, contemporary mansion rented exclusively for the occasion, about an hour or so outside Los Angeles. We picked out all kinds of different costumes -- from medieval dresses to seductive and flimsy nightgowns -- and gathered up lots of feather boas and lace accessories. Wardrobe in tow, we drove out to the mansion.

Just a few people were there waiting for us: Earl's assistant, a man to help with the sets, and the makeup and hair person. But, again, I was developing a case of nerves. As comfortable as I had become with Earl, and as much as I was trying to keep my anxiety in check, I couldn't help having reservations about this adventure. I was about to take my clothes off in front of a camera! And the resulting pictures would be printed in an internationally published magazine! I still wanted to do it, I just wished the photo session were over.

Deliberately forcing the nervousness into the back of my mind, I focused on the task ahead. I was willing to expose myself, literally, but I was also determined that if anything seemed odd, or if even one weird statement was made, I would march right out the door. I simply would not put up with it. I knew we were an hour out of town, but I would hitchhike back if I had to.

To my relief, nothing inappropriate ever happened. The makeup person was very talented both with makeup and hair, and she was sweet as could be. She and Earl were the only people present while the shots were taken. When Earl needed another camera, his assistant would come into the room, hand it to him, and leave. He kept his head averted and would not stare or even look at me. I thought that showed a lot of respect and consideration, and I was becoming increasingly comfortable with the whole program.

Earl couldn't have cared less if I was dressed or stark naked, as long as the lighting was right and he was delivering an artistic product. He had been working at Penthouse for nineteen years and had seen too many boobs in his career to care about yet another set. At first I was grateful for that, but as I became more at ease with him, it almost annoyed me a little!

During the first part of the shoot, I was wearing a beautiful velvet gown that looked like it was straight out of Camelot. Earl positioned me on a large staircase, and I felt very regal and queenlike. He took several pictures, and I thought, "This is easy, I can do this." Of course, I was still fully clothed.

Earl had told me not to wear any underwear, which was okay for the moment, because nothing was showing. But when he said, "I want you to pull your skirt up in front," I froze. I said no. He asked me again to pull up my skirt, and I said no again. I was overcome with shyness, and there was no way I could pull my dress up and let him see "the precious." I was beginning to think maybe I couldn't do this after all. But Earl was very patient. He talked to me for a minute or two, then said, "Gennifer, it's just me, and I don't care. Pull it up just a little."

So I lifted my skirt just a bit, not revealing much of anything, and Earl took some shots. Then he gradually had me lift it higher and higher, until I was revealing a lot. But as we went along it got easier, and then I got into the swing of things. Once I did it one time, the next time wasn't so hard.

I didn't do any shots where I was completely naked, except in the bathtub, surrounded by bubbles. I don't think I could have done anything where I was standing there completely exposed.

We shot photographs for four days, six or seven hours a day. After the first few hours all nerves were gone, and it was just hard work. The situation had become so academic by the third day, I was no longer shy and decided to have some fun. I was determined to make Earl notice me. Well, he did! Earl had me positioned on a stairway landing, dressed in a cape that flowed down from my head around my shoulders, but left my breasts exposed. I was holding a breast in each hand. Earl walked over to me to adjust the cape, and wasn't looking at my breasts as he worked. I lifted each breast in sync with the words that came out of my mouth: "Hi, how are you!" I had turned my breasts into hand puppets! Earl fell apart laughing. He said, "It never fails. Women come in here all nervous and tense and by the third day, it's like this. But I've never seen this."

When the final day of shooting ended, I headed back home to wait for the article and the photos to arrive so I could give my approval, and the whole project would be finished. Or so I thought. No sooner did I arrive in Dallas, than Guccione's assistant called to say Bob wanted to personally take some photos. I really didn't want to. I didn't relish the thought of having to gear up emotionally again for a nude session, especially with Guccione as the photographer.

Every time I met with Bob Guccione, I was struck by his interesting look; it was disarming yet somehow appealing at the same time. His fashion sense is hopelessly stuck in the seventies. He has a deep tan and wears lots of gold chains with his shirt open halfway to his waist. He wears a hairpiece, and I'd swear he wears mascara, too, judging from how long and dark his eyelashes are. He just seemed so out of sync with the nineties. In spite of his out-of-date dress, he had a certain sexual appeal with his piercing blue eyes and obvious machismo. Let's face it, the man is a living legend.

He has a strong, almost overbearing personality. There is no question who is in control of his domain, his home, and his wife. Guccione's wife, Kathy Keaton, slithers around like a pussycat, claiming to be an independent woman, but there's no doubt she knows who's really the boss. He's also ruthless and can turn on you in a second.

Guccione knew my pictorial and article were going to be a hot ticket because of my connection with Bill Clinton, and because it would be a part of history, he just had to have his fingers in it. Even though it wasn't necessary for him to have much hands-on involvement with his empire, he liked to put his personal touch on certain projects. So I was summoned to New York, where he keeps a studio set up in his home. Although Penthouse has corporate offices in New York, Guccione works at home for the most part. He starts working at two in the afternoon and works through the night -- like a vampire.

His home is one of the largest private residences in Manhattan. It's two brownstones combined and has five floors. He has an extensive and impressive art collection, including Picassos and Renoirs, and his furnishings have been imported from all over the world. For his personal safety and because of the value of his possessions, he keeps guards at the front. He also owns a gold-leaf piano that once belonged to Judy Garland, a magnificent piece. A lot of his furnishings are strange, though, with almost demonic overtones. I kept running into gargoyles and strange masks every time I turned a corner. And everything had an ancient smell to it.

The house had every luxury imaginable: an indoor swimming pool with Grecian statues peering out from every nook and cranny, a fully-equipped workout room, and guest rooms that are truly bizarre. On the occasions when I stayed there, they put me in a room that was decorated all in black, with mirrors on the ceiling. The bed had a canopy, and it was mirrored, too. It was stark black, with just little touches of red here and there. The Gucciones' thought it was an impressive piece of decorating, but it made me uncomfortable. It was confining and gave me a bad feeling.

An assistant, who worked with Roy True, came to New York with me once, and stayed in a room across the hall from my black room. She is a tall redhead with a strong personality. She wasn't one to be easily intimidated, but Guccione's house was enough to unsettle her. She tiptoed across the hall to my room the next morning and said she wouldn't stay in that house again, because it was so oppressive. Even worse, she couldn't sleep because she thought she could smell marijuana coming through the vents all night long, permeating her room. We found out later that Guccione's room was directly beneath hers.

The day of the photo shoot, I did my own makeup, and he worked without an assistant. He was trying so hard to be cool and sophisticated. This was the first time we had ever been alone together -- his assistant was usually around, or I would have a representative with me. But that day it was just the two of us and his camera in the studio. He came in wearing his hairpiece and bedecked with enough gold chains to sink a ship. His denim shirt was unbuttoned almost to his navel, and I thought, "Doesn't anybody tell this guy people don't dress like that anymore?" It's a wonder he didn't fall over from the weight of all his chains.

He had his camera set up on a tripod, and as he was going back and forth, between the camera and me, he tripped over the tripod almost every time. I was trying hard not to laugh, because he was working so hard to be nonchalant, then he would trip over his tripod again and look very unsophisticated.

Whenever Earl Miller took a shot that showed my breasts, he asked me to make my nipples hard to make the photo look better. That was easy to do -- I would just pinch them a little and they would stand right up. My session with Guccione was going fairly well until we came to a shot where my nipples had to be hard. He politely asked me to make them hard, but before I could respond, he asked, "Why don't I come over there with my tongue and help you out?"

This was exactly what I had anticipated I would be subjected to when the deal first came together, and I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't happen with Earl Miller. But now, here was the publisher himself, destroying my false sense of security by being offensive. I looked at him with his leering smile, and I have no doubt he would have been happy to oblige had I agreed. My temper flared, but I kept it in check so I could just get the session over with and get out of there. I brusquely replied, "No, thank you. I can do it." He got the message and didn't make any further offers.

The shots he took of me turned out quite good -- pretty and soft. I knew he had a reputation as an accomplished photographer, and in the early days of the magazine did everything himself, including the photography.

I was anxious to escape Guccione's house as quickly as I could. Just walking into it made me feel trapped, like I might never get out again. That place gives off very bad psychic vibes. To my relief, the photo session ended and I threw my things together and left New York the same day.

The photo shoots and interviews with Art Harris all took place in the summer of 1992. According to my contract, Guccione had until the last day of fall to publish the article and pictorial, which gave him until late December. So it was completely up to him whether the magazine would hit the newsstands before or after the presidential election. I didn't really care when it came out. It was something I was doing to tell my story free of bias or spin and to set myself up financially -- not to hurt Bill Clinton. If Guccione had an ulterior motive in deciding on the publication date, it made no difference to me.

I returned to New York again, to review the pictorial. I was pleased with it -- the photos were extremely flattering. Now all that was left was to review and approve the article. Time kept dragging, though, and the article didn't come. Roy True called Penthouse a number of times asking when the article would be available for my review, and he was given lots of excuses and put off for one reason or another. I didn't like the warning signs I was getting about this article, but I tried to remain optimistic. I held fast to the belief that the final draft would appear in my mailbox any day, and I'd have the chance to repair any damage.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Finis called me from Little Rock in mid-October. He had gotten yet another press release in his office, and told me I needed to see it. He faxed a copy to Roy True's office, and when I read it, I was stunned. It was from Guccione's office and said, in effect, he was releasing the magazine before the election to do damage control for Bill Clinton. The press release strongly suggested everything I alleged was probably untrue, and Guccione wanted to give Bill the opportunity to respond to my "sensational but unsubstantiated" charges before the election!

I knew I was in trouble. Was this Guccione's plan all along? Had his intent been only to discredit me instead of giving me the fair and unbiased treatment he had promised? It certainly seemed that way. I still hadn't seen the article, but the issue had already been printed. I had been set up and I went along willingly. Roy called Victor Kovner, Guccione's attorney, who was smooth as silk, apologetic but noncommittal.

Naturally, my first reaction was to sue Guccione's ass off. Although legal advisers assured me I had the basis for a lawsuit, they confirmed what I already suspected. Guccione has very deep pockets and is very patient. He could keep me tied up for years, financially and emotionally. I had already been used and abused so much, I just wasn't up to a protracted battle with someone who wouldn't hesitate to go for the jugular. I'm sure Guccione was betting that would be my reaction.

Besides, I still had the promise of back-end profits from the magazine -- that was written into my contract. Guccione had reneged on my right to review the article to serve his own purpose, but I really didn't think he would cheat me financially. He might be able to sidestep the small points, but if he blatantly violated the financial terms of the contract, his credibility as a businessman would be destroyed.

Even though the magazine was available in some places by the middle of October, it officially went on sale the first week in November, right before the election, and copies were snatched up in record time. Penthouse had promised to give me a specified number of copies, but they never appeared. Finis bought an issue in Little Rock, flew to Dallas with it that weekend, and that was the first time I saw it. I looked at the pictorial first and was thrilled. I was forty-two years old when those photos were taken, and I was proud of the way I looked. But then I read the article.

It would be easy to condemn Art Harris on the basis of what my friends and family told me about their interviews, but the truth is, I don't know how much of what he wrote was left out. He may have written my story from two different angles -- pro-Gennifer and anti-Gennifer -- but I'll never know. Jane Hamish, Guccione's assistant, told me Art turned in one hundred fifty pages of copy, but he had nothing to do with the final version, which was heavily edited. Guccione had the final say.

The article was definitely anti-Gennifer. Once again, I was portrayed as a gold-digging, no-talent, bleached-blonde bimbo. It was so hateful and mean that had it been about someone else, I would have had nothing but contempt for the shallow, greedy person Art Harris described. Bamboozled again. Why did I have to learn everything the hard way?

I tried to buy more copies of the magazine. As bad as the article was, since it was going to become a collector's item, I wanted to have a few on hand. (I understand that autographed copies have sold for as much as $2,000.) I certainly wasn't going to hold my breath and wait for Penthouse to come through with the copies they had promised me. I went from newsstand to newsstand looking for it and was told the same thing everywhere I went: Merchants had received only a limited number of copies, and they sold out quickly.

I found this curious. Why were so few copies being distributed when the issue was such a hot seller? I called various distributors around the country, posing as someone interested in getting a shipment of the magazine, and was told by most of them that they would love to have gotten more copies, but they had been told they probably wouldn't. It seemed that Penthouse had distributed far fewer than they normally did. It wasn't a matter of the magazines jumping off the shelves so fast they couldn't keep them stocked, there just weren't many available.

I thought back to a conversation I had had with Guccione during which he said he was concerned about the possibility of a conservative justice being appointed to the Supreme Court. Magazines such as Penthouse were constantly being sued under obscenity laws, and all Guccione needed was a conservative majority on the Supreme Court to start losing some of those lawsuits.

He wanted Bill Clinton, a liberal, to win the presidential election. Then when there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Bill would appoint a liberal justice to fill it. I began to wonder if I was nothing more than a pawn in his efforts to help get Bill elected. It seemed he made me look as bad as he possibly could have in order to discredit me and win support for Bill. That must be why Guccione was so eager to secure my story. It wasn't about money, it was about damage control for Bill. His negative portrayal of me helped to secure his own future by helping to elect a Democrat. He avoided the risk of Playboy presenting my story honestly, which might have hurt Bill's chances.

I never received a dime beyond the initial advance. The advance was generous, yes, but it certainly didn't give me long-term financial security. Furthermore, Guccione owns the rights to all the photos taken of me, and if he ever felt he could make money by using them, he wouldn't be obligated to pay me even a nickel. He knew what he was doing all along and knew he could get away with it, too.

Meanwhile, I had my mother to consider. She knew about the deal from the beginning, but I knew she wouldn't ever be fully prepared to see her daughter in Penthouse, in the flesh, so to speak. We had talked about it at length, and she was supportive but apprehensive. I was talking to her on the telephone shortly after the magazine came out, and while we were talking, my stepfather came home with a copy. I hadn't planned on that. I wanted Mother to see it and have a chance to digest it, then we would talk about it.

I had promised Mother I wouldn't show "the precious." I made a solemn vow there would be no spread-eagle shots, nothing lewd or vulgar. Even though I make my own decisions regardless of Mother's opinion, she has a large influence in my life and I have always at least listened to her. And I agreed with her on that point.

Anyway, Jim came in and handed her the Penthouse while we were talking. I gulped, and thought "Oh, no, I don't want sit here on the phone with her while she goes through it page by page." But I couldn't just hang up on her. She started looking at it right away. "Oh, Sissy, this cover is so pretty. You look so pretty." Mother had a poodle for years that she jokingly referred to as my brother. Hence, the nickname Sissy.

She started turning the pages and was happily exclaiming, "Those are pretty shots of you." She turned to the next page and her praise lost some of its exuberance. "Well, your little bottom sure is cute," she said reluctantly. I was dying inside. She turned another page and the tone of her voice changed dramatically. "Oh. You told me you weren't going to show the precious.'' ''Now, Mother," I hastily replied, "I didn't spread my legs." "Well, close enough," she shot back.

Actually, she took it pretty well. She hated the article -- absolutely hated it -- but with the exception of the one picture that showed my precious, she handled it very well. I didn't want my stepfather to see it, though. I begged Mother, "Don't let Pop see the pictures." I could deal with Mother, but there was something about having my stepfather see a nude layout of me that I just couldn't cope with. I'm sure he must have seen the pictures eventually, but, bless him, he never let on if he did.

Finis was extremely displeased with the article, too. We had been in touch frequently over the past several months, and he was anticipating a fair treatment in the story, just as I was. Anyone who knew me at all thought it was a real bad piece. It painted such a dreadful picture of me living in splendor off the proceeds of all the men I had taken money from. The description of my apartment made it sound like a "love palace." I wished I lived in the place described in the article!

Finis did like the pictorial, though. It was hard not to like. For all Guccione's underhandedness, he did make me look beautiful visually. Fortunately, Finis is open-minded and also appreciates the value of a good deal, which we initially thought it was.

Unlike Guccione, I felt honor bound to fulfill my contractual obligations, which meant returning to New York to promote the magazine. I told Jane Hamish I had no intention of staying in Guccione's house, however. I was so angry with him anyway, and I didn't want to stay in that black room again. Jane called me back and told me Guccione was very hurt. At least he pretended to be. Against my better judgment, she talked me into staying there because the few promotional events they had set up were scheduled with the assumption I would be staying at the house.

As much as I dreaded going back to Guccione's house, I was hoping it would give me the opportunity to talk with him face to face. I'd had no luck reaching him by telephone -- my calls were never put through once the magazine came out. And he refused to return my calls. Even though I was staying in his house, I never could nail him down. He managed to successfully avoid me and the confrontation I wanted to have with him.

Before I left Dallas for New York, I did an interview with one of the local TV stations. That station carried Inside Edition, and, coincidentally, a representative from Inside Edition was in Dallas when I did the interview. Without my knowledge or permission, he used my interview on his own program. When I got to New York I was scheduled to do an interview with A Current Affair, and when their people saw me on Inside Edition, they were furious.

We went ahead with the interview anyway, but Mary Garafolla, the interviewer, was mad before we even started because she had lost her exclusivity. It was one of the most mean-spirited grillings I had ever gotten. She started off by telling me she thought it was vulgar for Bill and me to have pet names for our private body parts. As if I cared what her opinion was.

But I tried to help her relate. I asked her if she had a boyfriend, although I doubted it with the thighs she was carrying around. But she surprised me by saying yes. So I asked her, "Don't you call each other by affectionate little names?" She just answered with a short, snotty "No." I'm sure if her boyfriend had any pet names for her, they weren't the kind he could say to her face.

Besides A Current Affair, I did a few radio shows and newspaper interviews, and had been scheduled to appear on the Phil Donahue Show, but out of the blue, Phil refused to have me on his show. I was immediately suspicious because I thought maybe Penthouse had a hand in it, trying to limit the magazine's promotion as well as it's distribution. I had Roy True call the Phil Donahue Show to find out exactly why they didn't want me on the show then, when a few months earlier they had practically knocked down my door trying to get me to appear. The reason they gave Roy was they changed their mind because I admitted having had an abortion. Mr. Liberal, Phil Donahue, wouldn't allow me on his show because I had had an abortion. Go figure.

The whole Penthouse experience was a hard-learned lesson in the ongoing education of Gennifer Flowers. I knew I didn't have the ability to deal with people like Bob Guccione and his lawyer on my own, but I believed if I surrounded myself with good advisers, people who were experts in their field, I would be covered. I found out otherwise. There just wasn't any way to anticipate the extent to which people would take advantage of me, and once I found out, it was too late. The fact was, Guccione's attorney, Victor Kovner, had simply "out-lawyered" Roy True.

Kovner himself might have had something at stake, since he is well connected with the Democratic Party.

But my philosophy is the same as it always has been: learn from it and move on. Just don't ever let it happen again. Unfortunately, every situation is different. I couldn't possibly anticipate every bump in the road, and there still were some unhappy surprises in store for me.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:07 am


The whole Penthouse experience left me feeling frustrated and vulnerable. I didn't trust anyone, and I became so protective of myself that it was all I could do to survive day by day. Consequently, I became unable to open myself intimately to anyone. For over a year, I became celibate. I felt used and abused by men. The man I had loved for 12 years had turned his back on me. Then Art Harris and Bob Guccione had wooed me over only to fry me over the coals. I just didn't want to put myself anywhere near a situation where I could be hurt and used again.

At first it was hard going without sex because I'm a sexual person. I had to get over the physical desire for intimacy; then I had to overcome the loneliness that a lack of intimacy with anyone can bring. Eventually, I became quite comfortable and almost preferred it that way. It wasn't until Finis and I decided to try to rekindle our romance that I gave up my celibacy. That too was difficult. But Finis is a patient, loving man and he helped through the emotional aspects of the transition.

On the positive side, my Penthouse appearance generated lots of interest by various media sources throughout the United States and Europe. Requests for appearances and interviews came in on a regular basis, and I decided to take advantage of some of them. I had still never had the chance to present my side of the story. So I decided to maintain a high profile until I could figure out the best way to convince the public I was telling the truth -- I did have an affair with Bill Clinton, but the facts had been twisted and manipulated to the point where people were doubtful it had ever happened.

I admit there were some elements of my notoriety I was enjoying. I've always liked being the center of attention, and there were times when the attention wasn't all bad. Some of the opportunities I was offered were just plain fun, and I agreed to do them as a way of easing the tension and pressure I was constantly feeling. One of the most irresistible offers came from the HBO show Dream On asking if I would consider a guest appearance. I was to play a news reporter, and that appealed to me immensely. It would be pleasant to be on the other side for a change!

The show was shot in Los Angeles, and the studio was in a big, metal barn-like structure. I was nervous about doing this, although my part wasn't large, and the filming wouldn't take long, I wasn't used to acting. I did have my experience at KARK to draw on, however.

Blake Hendrix came with me -- more out of curiosity than to serve as my attorney. We got to watch several scenes being shot before my scene came up.

I was on the set, in costume and made up, and I had yet to see the script. All of a sudden, the director yelled, "Action!" I kind of held my hand up and said, "Excuse me, I don't know what my lines are." The staff had completely forgotten to get the script to me!

The director rolled his eyes, and I felt like dropping through the floor. Fortunately, I had only a few lines, and I memorized them quickly. The acting part wasn't hard at all. I just drew on my memories of what it had been like when I worked for the TV station, and it was like being on the job again.

Seeing everything that went on behind the scenes was the best part of it. Two other cameo guests were on the show, as well: Rita Jenrette, whose former husband was a congressman who had been convicted on federal bribery charges; and Jessica Hahn, who gained notoriety as a result of her affair with Jim Bakker, the televangelist. Actress Terri Garr played a politician's wife who had an affair with Brian Benben, the show's star. George Hamilton played the politician -- and he was gorgeous.

The show ran during a ratings sweep and I was flattered that they used my name in the promotional spots for the program. I did this show just for the fun of it, since I certainly wasn't going to get rich on the $700 they paid me. But I did get interviewed by Entertainment Tonight.

Brian Benben was adorable, and I enjoyed watching him do his scenes. It seemed to me he was overacting at the time, and I thought it would turn out corny. But when I saw the tape, it was perfect. He obviously knew what he was doing.

Rita, Jessica, and I had each done our scenes separately, so we hadn't met until we got together to do some promotional shots for the show. Rita was very cool and reserved, but a nice lady. We were waiting for Jessica to show up, and she was late. All of a sudden I heard a commotion in the hall. It was Jessica, coming down the hall, yelling "Gennifer, Gennifer, Gennifer." She barreled into the room and came up about two inches from my face and said, "Oh, Gennifer, I have wanted to meet you so badly, and I want you to know I understand what you're going through, and you can count on me."

Then she jokingly said, "If you fix me up with Bill Clinton, I'll fix you up with Jim Bakker." I was having trouble seeing the humor in her suggestion. Jim Bakker was certainly not my idea of a sexually attractive man. I couldn't resist. I took her aside and very quietly told her, "No offense, Jessica, but I wouldn't fuck him on a bad day." She laughed and whispered, "I don't blame you."

We did the photo shoot, with Rita and I dressed rather conservatively, and Jessica with her little bitty black skirt and mesh top that was distinctly see-through. She was very attractive and had gone to great lengths to appear sexy, but she took herself a little too seriously for my taste.

Part of my obligation to promote Penthouse was a scheduled appearance on the Howard Stern radio show. I dreaded meeting Howard because he had such a bigger-than-life reputation, and heaven only knew what he would do with me. I had heard his show for the first time when I was in Los Angeles, doing the Penthouse shoot, and I was infuriated by some of the things he said. He was so abrasive that I actually got fighting mad just listening to him ... a reaction he's known for encouraging.

Then it hit me what a showman he really is. He was saying things that many people think, but don't have the guts to say. I'm not convinced Howard believes everything he says, but he sure knows how to get a reaction from his listeners.

I arrived at the studio very early in the morning -- five-thirty or six -- and walked into the control room expecting to see a green-eyed, fire-breathing dragon. But the first thing I noticed was his beautiful head of hair. Then he turned around and gave me a puppy-dog look that melted my heart on the spot. He was a true stud-muffin!

Howard was very kind to me. He didn't pull too many punches in his interview, but he treated me fairly. We liked each other right away, and I have to admit I have a real crush on him. The man has an energy about him and is incredibly sexy.

I appeared on his show one more time, after I made the tapes of my telephone conversations with Bill available to the public. He subsequently asked me to join him to help celebrate the addition of another station to the ones already broadcasting his show. I wasn't able to do that, but I would have liked to. I enjoyed being around him and was glad that I had guessed right: his abrasive personality was all for show.

I must have done dozens of remote radio interviews sitting on the floor of my kitchen, talking on the telephone, one show after another with no break in between. During one interview, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I couldn't wait. But the show was only half finished, and I could hardly excuse myself right in the middle of it to go use the potty. Desperate for relief, I looked around the kitchen and got the brilliant idea to use a bowl. So as I continued to answer questions about Bill Clinton and me, I proceeded to tinkle into the bowl. Luckily it wasn't stainless steel, so it didn't make any noise. If the listeners only knew what was going on while they were asking me all those serious questions! But when nature calls ....

My first offer to make an appearance in a foreign country came from a television show in Spain, the De Tu A Tu show. The show is similar to The Tonight Show in the United States, but it's the only one in Spain -- no competition. Plus, it's seen in other countries around Europe, too. Spanish culture is nighttime oriented, and the show's viewership was enormous. The producer sent me first class tickets to Madrid and paid me a substantial amount of money for the appearance.

When I agreed to go to Spain, Finis came with me. He and I had never completely lost touch with each other. Even though our romantic relationship had fizzled, he had been a constant source of support for me, for which I was grateful. Gradually we started seeing each other again and had started rebuilding what we once had shared.

We were treated like royalty by the flight attendants on our first-class flight over. In fact, we received first-class treatment throughout our stay in Spain. It was a long flight, and I was anxious to get to the hotel and unpack. Before we landed, I brushed my teeth and combed my hair, but didn't bother re-doing my makeup because I didn't expect anyone but a representative from the show to be waiting to meet us. We gathered our luggage and made it through customs. As we exited the secured area into the airport terminal, I was horrified to see more than two dozen reporters and cameramen swarming toward us snapping pictures and asking for interviews.

I was totally unprepared for the press -- I looked a wreck! I grabbed my sunglasses, shoved them on, and smiled wide -- at least my teeth were brushed. I was flattered by the press attention and their excitement that Gennifer with a "G" had arrived.

The representatives from the show were there to meet us and were concerned that someone might corner me and infringe on their exclusivity. So they stood close by and let me do just a short interview with the gathered press.

Europeans, I quickly learned, associated my relationship with Bill with that of John Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. We saw that printed in several publications. Everyone thought our whole affair was as romantic as could be, and they wanted to hear all about it. But as much as they loved hearing about the romance, they were even more interested in the political aspects of the story. They knew that Bill, as president of the most powerful country in the world, could have an effect on economies around the world. Because of that, his actions could affect their lives, so they wanted to know more about this man.

From the airport we were taken to the beautiful Palace Hotel, and it was crawling with more members of the media. But they were courteous and non-intrusive. Europeans are more liberal in their opinions about extramarital affairs, so no one subjected me to harsh or judgmental questioning the entire time I was there. What a pleasant change.

The television studio was out of town and I was amazed when we got there at how modern and well-equipped the dressing rooms and makeup area were. We were shown into the manager's office and saw photos of previous guests on show. I specifically remember a picture of Michael Jackson. (Not bad company to be in.) During the rehearsal of a song I was planning to sing on the show, Finis noticed everyone was smiling. He asked the director why and was told that they were surprised and impressed with my voice. Since all of this has happened, my singing has had to take a back seat. So it was nice to hear someone say that again.

When we talked to the show's producers before making the trip over, they told me they planned to pay me in cash, American dollars. That made me real nervous. This was my first trip overseas and I didn't know if I was being set up or what. I was still concerned that my Bill Clinton connection might cause someone to do something to hurt me, and I had heard stories about drugs being planted in people's luggage when they were in foreign countries. I didn't want to end up in jail.

The stories I mentioned earlier about how people who had crossed Bill ended up seriously injured were still fresh in my mind, too. Even more disturbing than those accounts, though, was an incident that took place shortly after Bill was elected.

Jerry Parks, who was head of the Little Rock presidential campaign headquarters during the early days of the campaign, was reportedly writing a book about Bill and Arkansas politics. He was murdered, shot several times as he was driving his car, and all his notes and tapes vanished, never to surface again. Needless to say, I was more than a little concerned for my own safety.

Finis and I went to the studio to do the show, and, sure enough, they paid me in cash -- several thousand dollars in stacks of hundred dollar bills. I counted them out right there in the dressing room. Thank goodness Finis was with me; he agreed to hold the money while I did the show. I couldn't imagine being on stage with hundred dollar bills stuffed in my pockets. I would have been unable to concentrate.

On the show with me that evening were the rock band INXS; Spain's premier bull fighter, who was retiring; and Franco's grandson.

The show was over, it was one o'clock in the morning, and somehow Finis and I had to get back to our hotel with all that cash. I was so nervous about it I was shaking. I felt we had to come up with a plan. Finis had a colleague in Madrid, Allister Seymour, whom he had called as soon as we arrived in Spain. Allister came to the show, and afterward we asked him if he would take us back to the hotel. The show had provided a chauffeured limousine for us, but I wasn't about to get into a car with a strange driver and take my chances.

We didn't tell the driver we weren't going with him until the last minute. Finis told him we had made other arrangements, we jumped into Allister's car, and sped to the hotel at over a hundred miles per hour. Allister knew I was scared and anxious to get to the hotel. We screeched to a stop in front of the hotel, ran into the lobby and handed the money to the desk clerk to lock up in the hotel's safe. I knew there were no guarantees it would stay there, but I felt much better not having all that cash on me.

As a result of the exposure I got on the television show, everywhere I turned the next day, there were press people waiting hopefully for an interview! I literally could not walk down the street without being mobbed. Every two feet someone would stop me and ask for my autograph, and the press tailed me in droves. I finally had to arrange a hasty series of interviews because the hotel had become a zoo with all the reporters milling around. I gave five hours of unplanned interviews that day! This was the first time I didn't feel threatened by the media. The Spanish press was refreshing and I felt comfortable enough with them to have Finis take a picture of me standing in the middle of a group of them. If I did that at home, I'd likely walk away with a knife in my back.

The rest of the trip was a delight. Allister took us to see authentic Flamenco dancers, we dined in wonderful restaurants, and I danced the night away in a disco with Spain's Prince Felipe. When it was time to return home, though, I had to deal with my fear of customs finding something that had been planted in one of my bags. I inspected everything thoroughly when I packed, but I couldn't quell the butterflies I had when we approached customs in the United States. The drug-sniffing dogs were waiting, and I could envision them finding something I didn't know about, and I'd be a dead duck. I held my breath as I moved past the area where the dogs were on duty, and exhaled in relief when they didn't even twitch. The custom's agent inspected my suitcase with only mild interest and waved me on, thank goodness. I made it through safely without any unpleasant surprises, but I really resented having to worry about being set up.

A year or so after my trip to Spain, The Thomas Gotschick Show, a German version of The Tonight Show, invited me to come to Germany and appear on the show. They, too, offered me a fee to appear, and provided first class travel and treatment. Every once in awhile there are some benefits to this ordeal! I took my mother with me this time, which brought a fresh wave of anxiety. I prayed the trip would go smoothly because she was with me, and I dreaded the thought of anything ugly or unpleasant happening.

Of all the changes I have experienced in my life since the Star story broke in 1992, the worst is that I continue to fear for my life. That fear has not abated, and I still take extraordinary measures to ensure my security. I live in a tightly secured apartment building with guards in the lobby and hardly ever travel alone. When I go out alone, I try to go unnoticed, usually wearing a baseball cap pulled down over my hair. I live in semi-seclusion, and it is not a pleasant way to live.

So it was with some apprehension that I left for Germany with Mother. She had never been to Europe before, and I desperately wanted the trip to go well. We arrived in Munich and were met by a representative from the show driving a fabulous Mercedes limousine. He greeted us enthusiastically and drove us to the luxurious hotel where we were staying. The hotel was beautiful and elegant and located in a part of Munich that was much like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The whole city was clean, pristine and safe ... most refreshing. We were told that a woman could go out alone at two in the morning without fear of being raped. They told us rape is almost nonexistent there. It was also exciting to be surrounded by all that beautiful architecture, not to mention the rich history of the city.

The next day, the producer of the show personally came to the hotel to pick us up. He graciously told me how important my appearance was to him and that I would have top billing over Steven Seagal, the actor; Rue McClanahan, from the Golden Girls television show; and an Olympic skier who had just won his second gold medal. Wow, what a guest list! We had a leisurely conversation with him, then departed for the show. On the way to the studio, the producer got a worried look on his face, then frantically reached for the car phone. They had forgotten to send a car for Rue McClanahan, and she had to take a taxi!

Mother and I were shown into a dressing room, and as I got ready, we talked eagerly of meeting Rue McClanahan. We both were fans of The Golden Girls and got the biggest kick out of having the chance to meet her so far from home. When I was ready, I left Mother and went to the make-up room. Rue was there already, and I couldn't wait to introduce myself and tell her how eager Mother was to meet her, too. We made eye contact for just an instant, then she cut her eyes away without saying a word.

This snub from her just didn't make sense. I thought I was imagining things and kept waiting for her to turn around and acknowledge my presence. I was standing four feet away from her, and she pretended I didn't exist. I certainly wasn't going to force myself on her, so when it became obvious she would rather have been dipped in hot tar than say hello to me, I went to my corner of the makeup room. I sure didn't want the same thing to happen to Mother.

I went back to where Mother was waiting, and the first thing she asked me was if I had met Rue. I told her, "Yes, but just briefly." I didn't want to tell her what really happened. It was important to me that nothing spoil the trip for her. But it was obvious Rue had a problem with me.

Mother was seated in the front row, and just as the show was starting, the band played and Thomas Gotschick collected Mother out of the audience and danced her around the stage. She was absolutely sparkling with pleasure, and I was relieved and happy she was having a good time.

The set of the show was elaborate, with beautiful colors and comfortable furniture. It was structured so that there was a steep stairway that came down through the audience. The featured guest would descend the stairs while the other guests would enter from side doors at floor level. I was the featured guest, and as the show began, I found myself at the top of the staircase. All the lights and cameras were on me, the song "Isn't She Lovely" was playing in the background, and all I could see was what seemed like a thousand steps I had to make my way down without falling. That was no easy feat in four-inch heels. I mentally crossed my fingers, smiled wide, took a deep breath, and plunged ahead. All the way down I silently thanked Mother for sending me to charm school so I knew how to walk down stairs.

I reached the stage without mishap, and a little microphone was placed in my ear to translate Thomas Gotschick's questions. He would ask me questions in German, they would be translated for me, I would respond in English, and my answer would be translated back to German for the audience. It was tricky making the procedure seem smooth, but they pulled it off easily.

Thomas Gotschick was a gorgeous and charming man who spoke impeccable English. He was easy to talk with and seemed excited to have me on the show. We chatted awhile, then it was time for the other guests to appear. Out of one of the side doors came the Olympic skier, then Rue, and finally Steven Seagal, who was just a big ol' hunk of burnin' love sitting there. My heart was doing flip-flops just looking at that gorgeous man. Unlike Rue, he was very glad to meet me. We spent some time together talking after the show, and sparks started flying.

He and I were talking, the electricity coursing back and forth between us, and Mother kept interrupting. I put her off saying, "I'll be finished in just a minute, Mother," but she wasn't having any part of it. She marched right up to us and said, "Gennifer, he's married. We don't want to go through that again." I was speechless for a moment, then Steven and I both burst out laughing. "You've got a point there," I agreed. Thanks to Mother, that was the end of that conversation!

Pellicano’s legal troubles began in 2002 when prosecutors claim he hired Alexander Proctor to threaten Anita Busch, then a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who was working on a story about actor Steven Seagal and possible links to the Mafia.

Proctor allegedly went to Busch’s home, placed a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on the windshield of her car and made a bullet-sized hole in her windshield. He also placed a sign with the word “stop” on the windshield, court documents show. The FBI later raided Pellicano’s office, found illegal explosives and seized documents and computers....

In the January 1992 issue of GQ magazine, Pellicano boasted of the dirty work he had performed for his clients, including blackmail and physical assault. He claimed to have beaten one of his client’s enemies with a baseball bat.

“I’m an expert with a knife,” said Pellicano. “I can shred your face with a knife.”

FBI agents raided Pellicano’s West Hollywood office on Nov. 22, 2002, and arrested him on federal weapons charges. In his office, they found gold, jewelry, and about $200,000 in cash – most of it bundled in $10,000 wrappers – thousands of pages of transcripts of illegal wiretaps; two handguns; and various explosive devices stored in safes, including two live hand grenades and a pile of C4 plastic explosive, complete with blasting cap and detonation cord.

“The explosive could easily be used to blow up a car, and was in fact strong enough to bring down an airplane,” noted Special Agent Stanley Ornellas in a sworn affidavit.

The FBI raided Pellicano’s office after an accomplice ratted him out. Ex-convict Alexander Proctor told the FBI that Pellicano had hired him to threaten and intimidate Busch, who had been poking her nose a little too deeply into a feud between Mafia kingpins and actor Seagal. It seems that Seagal’s former friend and production partner, Julius R. Nasso, was tied to the Gambino crime family. When Seagal and Nasso quarreled, the dispute got ugly.

On the morning of June 20, 2002, reporter Busch approached her car, which was parked near her home. To her horror, she saw a bullet-hole in her windshield. A cardboard sign taped to the glass bore one word: “Stop.” A dead fish with a long-stemmed rose in its mouth lay on the hood.

Busch took the hint. She immediately went into hiding, staying in a series of hotels at her paper’s expense, while the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department’s organized-crime division investigated.

A break in the case seemed to come when ex-convict Proctor spilled the beans to an undercover FBI informant. Proctor reportedly told the informant, on tape, that it was not the Mafia harassing Busch –- it was Steven Seagal. Proctor said Seagal hired detective Anthony Pellicano to intimidate the woman into silence. Pellicano, in turn, had subcontracted Proctor to do the dirty work.

“He wanted to make it look like the Italians were putting the hit on her, so it wouldn’t reflect on Seagal,” Proctor told the informant. Proctor accused Pellicano of ordering him to “blow up” or set fire to Busch’s car to frighten her. However, Proctor said he got cold feet and merely damaged the car, leaving the dead fish and “Stop” sign as calling cards.

A federal judge sentenced Pellicano to 30 months in prison for possession of the hand grenades and C4. Later, on June 17, 2005, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley charged him with conspiracy and making threats against Busch.

-- Clinton Dirty Trickster Faces New Charges: Private investigator Pellicano to be arraigned in celeb wiretapping case, by

Backstage was a wall where all the guests from the show would sign their autograph. I didn't realize Rue was standing right behind me while I was autographing the wall, and when I finished, I stepped back and practically landed on top of her. I turned to her and said, ''I'm so sorry. Please, excuse me." Rue wouldn't say a word. It seemed that I could have put my spike heel through her foot and she still wouldn't have reacted.

Aside from McClanahan's cold-shoulder treatment, the trip was a success. I was treated so differently on European talk shows than I was on U.S. talk shows; it was truly a pleasure. These people were interested in hearing what I had to say, not in what they wanted me to say as was so often the case in the United States. I never minded tough questions -- in fact, I expected them -- but I was disturbed by how American interviewers would try to manipulate my answers for their own purposes.

Virtually every television talk show host in the United States asked me to appear at one time or another, including Geraldo, Montel Williams, Jenny Jones, and, of course, Phil Donahue until he found out I'd had an abortion. I agreed to do only a few: the Bertice Berry Show, and the Leeza Show among them. I did those shows because the timing seemed right and they sounded like fun.

I have given interviews for a multitude of magazines and newspapers around the world. In some cases the interviews were okay, but, more often than not, I found my words had been twisted to put me in a bad light. I'll never forget the first time I read an article from one of those interviews. I was dumbfounded at some of the fabricated quotes attributed to me, and was even more astonished at how things I actually did say were put in a different context that made me sound awful. It's unbelievably frustrating to read an article after an interview, only to think, "Wait! I didn't say that!" or "That's not what I meant!"

What continues to astonish me is that whenever magazines or newspapers interview me, they demand substantiation for my claims, which I happily give them. They press me unmercifully, trying to find something to trip me up that might invalidate my story. But then they turn to other sources, to people who claim to know me, who make outrageously untruthful statements, and those statements are accepted as fact and are printed.

A lot of people knew about my relationship with Bill Clinton, and some have given their opinions to the public through the media, some good some bad. As long as they told the truth, I didn't care. What infuriates me is all the people who have come out of the woodwork claiming to be my "best friend" or former "roommate" and proceed to try to discredit me.

If I gathered all the people who swear they were my best friend or roommate, Yankee Stadium would be too small to hold them all. Yet so-called investigative reporters will print wild accusations as if they were the gospel truth without so much as doing a background check on these people to see if they even knew me! A tiny bit of investigating would reveal most of these people as frauds.

The media has a lot of nerve questioning my honesty and integrity when they sacrifice truth for the sake of a good story and ratings. And they call me a bimbo! The attitude seems to be, why mess up a good story with the facts? There was a time when I thought the media would be my salvation. Well, my bubble has sure been popped. The fact is, the American public is being misled on a daily basis by the so-called mainstream media.

Take Rush Limbaugh, for example. I'm well aware that his shows are designed to entertain as well as inform, but I really thought he was more concerned with honesty and spreading the truth for the sake of the country. I did a phone interview with Rush at his request, although he is fond of saying I called him to initiate the interview, which is absolutely untrue. For the most part, it was an amiable conversation, and I was grateful to him for emphatically affirming that I was the only woman who had proof of what I was claiming.

During the course of the conversation, something was said about Penthouse. I made the comment that I was disappointed in the article, and Rush responded, "Oh, come on, Gennifer, you're a big girl. You should know what to expect." I replied that big girl or not, I expected people to do what they told me they were going to do, to be honorable and abide by their agreements.

What I didn't know was the interview was being taped for later broadcast, and Rush cut the tape off right after he said, "You should know what to expect." I heard the broadcast later that day, and my response to him had disappeared. He continued, saying if Guccione had taken me, it was my own fault. No one ever heard the rest of the conversation.

All the audience heard was Rush's final word!
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

Postby admin » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:07 am


From the moment I mentioned in the Star article that I had tapes of my phone conversations with Bill Clinton, I have been pressured to make them available to the public. I didn't think the excerpts printed by the Star presented the whole picture, so I was anxious to release them, too. My one attempt to do so, during the campaign, had stirred up so much trouble I thought it best to back off for awhile. But I was finally convinced the time was right. I had the tapes reproduced and wrote a booklet containing an explanation of what was going on when the conversations took place. I also included a full written transcript of what was said. I had forensic experts verity that the voices on the tapes were Bill's and mine and that the tapes had never been altered.

My motive for releasing the tapes was not to get rich from the proceeds of the sales, but to put the truth out to the American people, and to let them hear Bill in his own words prove he is willing to manipulate and lie. The tapes are the only real proof of that, so far.

The tapes and booklet were released under the title Setting the Record Straight, and I hoped to be able to do just that by making the tapes available via an 800 number on television and radio. Plus, I had been through so many interviews and shows in the previous two years, I felt there were certain people I could depend on to help get the message out.

Rush Limbaugh was one of those people. I believed he truly understood the importance of letting the American people see exactly what kind of president was running their country. He said so often enough on his show. But to my surprise, Rush personally turned down my advertisement. He wouldn't allow it on either his radio or his television show and would never say why.

I was crushed and confused. I thought he would jump at the opportunity to offer proof of all the things he had been saying about Bill: that Bill was a smooth manipulator, that he tried to cover up the truth, and that he and 1 did have an affair. Rush had built a career around these allegations, and yet he wouldn't accept the opportunity to offer definitive proof -- in Bill's own words. The only thing I could speculate was that Rush wants to bat Bill around like a ball of yarn, but he doesn't want to knock him down completely. Bill Clinton is a cash cow for Rush Limbaugh, and he wants to stretch his Clinton-bashing routine out as long as possible.

All three major networks turned me down, as did The Fox Network and Turner Broadcasting. No one would touch my ad. That wasn't as surprising as Rush's refusal, but it did put me in a quandary. My marketing would have to be extremely inventive if anyone was to learn the tapes were available. My agent arranged a press conference, and to my gratification, it got a lot of attention. CNN carried it live, and most major newspapers and radio and television stations covered it.

Then 1 began accepting appearances on talk shows again, both radio and television. Howard Stern had me on again, as did Barry Farber, who has a show in New York City similar to Rush Limbaugh's. Barry is a man who has tremendous respect for his country, and he was absolutely fair and objective. He wasn't on my side, he wasn't on Bill's side. He just tried to cover the story from all angles.

Then came Rolonda. The executive producer of the Rolonda show had spoken with my business manager and asked if 1 would appear on her show. Not having much luck in getting television exposure for the tapes, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity. I was assured both verbally and in writing that the program would be objective, that Rolonda would not attack me or be combative, and that I would be the only one on the stage. I was eager to get an appropriate forum.

The producer wanted to bring in, by remote camera, the state troopers who had worked for Bill, and that was fine with me. They had recently started telling their stories about Bill's sexual escapades while governor of Arkansas, and they were also willing to corroborate my story.

The morning of the show, a limousine picked up my manager and me to take us to the studio. The building was rather nondescript, and once we got inside it didn't improve a whole lot. To get inside, we had to be escorted past a line of people waiting to get in to see the show. Most of the furniture was vintage '60s, not real impressive. There was a platter of cheese and fruit -- standard fare in talk show green rooms.

The executive producer came in to greet us and couldn't have been nicer. He graciously welcomed us to the show, all the while knowing he was about to throw me to the lions.

Waiting in the green room for the show to start, I expected Rolonda to stop by to introduce herself and say hello. I had done enough of these shows by then to know the procedure -- the host always made a point of popping in even if just for a minute before going on stage. Rolonda never showed. I was a little suspicious, but went onstage when it was time.

I was seated in plenty of time to scan the audience, which I always do for a number of reasons. For one thing, I check to make sure there are no crazies there who might have sneaked a gun into the studio to shoot me. I also like to get a feel for the audience ... how are they dressed, do they look educated and classy, or do they look like a bunch of ingrates who are eager to take out their frustrations on me just because I exist? Rolonda's audience definitely fell into the latter category, with a few exceptions.

Rolonda became combative almost immediately. She would ask me a question and before I got more than three or four words out of my mouth, she would interrupt with another question, or exclaim, "Oh Gennifer, that's not true." She would turn her back on me while I was in mid-sentence and rile the audience up with looks of incredulity or sounds of disbelief. The audience responded by hooting and hollering, and it was rapidly turning into a sideshow.

Members of the audience had a chance to ask me questions, but it was engineered so they never really asked me anything -- they just vented their smug disapproval, egged on by Rolonda. One or two audience members tried to speak out on my behalf, and she shut them down quickly and moved on to someone who was willing to sling mud at me. The more sensational and ugly it became, the more Rolonda liked it. Ratings! Once again, objectivity and fairness were tossed out the window for the sake of ratings.

My blood was starting to boil. I was so weary of being blindsided time after time, and it was happening again. But I deliberately kept my cool, maintaining a benign expression and trying to hold my own without letting it appear she was getting to me. I'm sure she would have loved it had I stormed off the stage, but I wasn't about to give her the satisfaction.

The state troopers were brought in by remote, and Rolonda started in on them. One of the troopers, Roger Perry, told her flat out that he and Bill Clinton had once had a conversation about their troubled marriages, and Bill admitted to him he was in love with another woman. Roger said he just naturally assumed that woman was me. He had known about me for a long time -- as had most of the other troopers who worked for Bill. That shut Rolonda up for a second, but it didn't take her long to get nasty again.

The troopers were sitting in a studio in another town and were being brought into Rolonda's studio on a big screen. We could see them, but they couldn't see us. During the break, Rolonda started to make fun of the troopers and the expressions on their faces as they sat waiting to be interviewed. She got the audience laughing at them, too. It was very inappropriate, not to mention unprofessional.

At one point during the show, three journalists were brought onstage and seated beside me, in direct violation of our contract. I was shocked and wondered why they were there. I knew it wouldn't be to my benefit. It turned out that two of them had been told to take Bill Clinton's side, and one was supposed to support me. The journalist on my side, Andrew Ferguson of the New York Times, was given about fifteen seconds to make his case, and was able to make an excellent point. He said maybe people should quit trying to examine my motives and listen carefully to the tapes because they really weren't flattering to Clinton.

The other two mostly offered criticism of me, but neither of them really had anything of substance to say, it was all for show. Especially when one of the journalists, Jane Furse of the New York Daily News, was talking about Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit and made what she thought was a clever wisecrack. She said anybody who believed Paula's encounter with Bill Clinton was sexual harassment probably believed I was a natural blonde. I was furious, and I shook my head in disbelief. What an unprofessional witch!

The show was nearly over, thank goodness, because I was ready to explode. As soon as I was sure the cameras were off and the microphones were no longer live, I leaned across Andy Ferguson, nudged him back, and shook my finger at Jane Furse. "You listen up," I told her, angrily. "You ever take a cheap shot like that at me again and I'll knock your skinny ass out of that chair so fast you won't know what hit you."

Jane didn't say anything, she just kind of blinked in surprise. But I was wound up by then, and I kept going. "I have never claimed to be a natural blonde," I continued. "But if you want to talk about what's real, my tits are real." All three of them sat there stunned and speechless. I tore off my microphone, stood up, thanked Andy Ferguson for attempting to support me, and was out of there. I couldn't believe it. As the limo pulled away from the studio headed back to the hotel, I broke down, sobbing uncontrollably as my whole body shook with tension. How could Rolonda and that bunch of idiots she works for live with themselves? They were brutal.

The past few years have taught me a lot. I've learned whom I can trust and whom I cannot. And there are about half a dozen people in the first category -- I call those "the precious few." Most startling to me has been learning how deceptive the American press is. The American people depend on the media to give them facts and objective analysis, and the majority of what is being fed to the public is filled with inaccuracies, private agendas, and personal opinion. When it comes to reporting stories like mine and those of the troopers that cast doubt on Bill Clinton's character, the mainstream media in this country has shown supreme arrogance.

Two highly respected reporters from the Los Angeles Times learned this. Bill Remple and Doug Frantz began covering Bill Clinton before the presidential election. They were the ones who originally reported the draft-dodging allegations against him. And they were looking into Whitewater long before others jumped on the bandwagon. They spent many months in Little Rock, digging for information. There goal was never to hurt Bill; they were just following up on the leads that came their way.

They had planned to break the Troopergate story, too. They were the first reporters to interview the troopers who ultimately came forward. They later told us they had the story all wrapped up and ready to go, but when they submitted it, their editors chose to sit on it until after the American Spectator, a conservative monthly magazine, broke the story. Bill and Doug knew they had the same story. In fact, they had gotten to the troopers before the other publication. The editors at the Times, however, chose to minimize any problems with the White House by letting the other publication run with the story.

Bill and Doug were so upset and frustrated by this gutlessness. Doug actually quit the Times and went to work at the New York Times as a financial writer, swearing to never again report on politics.

Another encounter with the mainstream media only confirmed my feelings about their lack of responsibility. When I was preparing to release the tapes, I got a call from Marilyn Thompson, a highly respected editor with the Washington Post. She pleaded with me to be able to come to Dallas and just listen to the tapes. She agreed to sign a document promising not to print anything about them without my written consent. At the last minute, she was unable to make it and another reporter was sent. This woman came to my house and listened to all the tapes. Afterward she told me, "Gennifer, I've got to tell you. After listening to all these tapes, if there was ever any doubt in my mind about your story and your relationship with Bill Clinton, its completely gone now." She knew we had a story and she promised to get back to me in a few days.

When I didn't hear from her, I had my agent contact Marilyn Thompson. She was very apologetic, but explained that the editors had decided not to go with it as a major story. Instead, they printed a brief synopsis of the tapes, and basically said, "It's nothing new."

Once again the mainstream media had chosen to deliver less than the truth to the American public. Whether it's out of a desire to support the administration or a fear of reprisal and decreased access to the White House, the result is the same ... the public is getting shortchanged. I believe that Americans should have the right to know all the facts. And those facts should be reported by the media, so that people can make informed choices. The media is not living up to its responsibility.

* * * *

Bill Clinton is obsessed with power. It's like an aphrodisiac to him. And his current position gives him almost unlimited power. This love of power is nothing new. In D.C. it's referred to as "Potomac Fever," and it strikes people at all levels of government. But this power fever doesn't strike only in Washington; it's a phenomenon seen all over the country ... at the state level and even the city level. One reason that power is so attractive to men is the perks that come with it. One of the most enjoyable of those perks is that certain women are extremely attracted to the power scent and are eager to seduce or be seduced by those men with power. In many cases, the power and the increased sexual activity seem to go hand-in-hand. It's been going on for centuries, and will probably continue for centuries to come.

If, however, those women decide to talk about their liaisons with these powerful men, look out. The typical response of the media is to attack the women, do whatever they can to invalidate the story. Men, in general, get pissed that these woman would have the gall to tell their stories. Surprisingly enough, most women react the same way. But I think that's changing. In growing numbers, women are beginning to realize that it takes two to tango. And probably in the majority of cases, the man is responsible for the seduction in the first place. Besides, what gives anyone the right to censor what a person can say about his or her own life story?

I really believe that my story is part of history. And it's not over yet. Bill is still the president, and I believe there's a lot more damaging information that will be coming to light about both him and Hillary. After all, the Whitewater investigation has yet to be resolved, as do the Vince Foster intrigue and the Paula Jones suit.

I am often asked what I think happened with Vince Foster. I really don't know whether he committed suicide or not. I do know that being caught up in the Clinton power structure can be a heady business, but look out if you decide to cross them. Maybe Foster knew too much, maybe he was a threat to the power structure. Maybe he felt unable to face what he knew was coming when information about Whitewater and other issues began to surface. Whatever the truth is, I can certainly relate to his situation. In fact, during some bleak times, the thought of suicide crossed my mind. But I'm too much of a survivor to make that choice. His story also adds to my fear for my own safety. At any time in the last few years, I could have been killed, and it could have been made to look like suicide.

* * * *

Public reaction to my story has been interesting. Not only has the media tried to suppress information, they've also reported outrageous lies about me. Sometimes I have to laugh at the things they report. I was watching the Joan Rivers Show one day, sitting in my apartment in Dallas, and a well-known columnist came on and said she knew for a fact that at that moment I was in Japan, singing. I had to laugh. Dallas is about as far from Japan as you can get.

In 1992, Finis and I attended the Thalian Ball in Hollywood, and a well-respected weekly news magazine reported that although I sat there quietly, enjoying the festivities, I certainly made a point because my escort was wearing a Bill Clinton mask! I was there, and a few people were wearing masks, but no one at our table was wearing one, and certainly not Finis. The story was a complete fabrication. Although when Finis read the article, he laughed and said he wished he'd thought of wearing a Clinton mask!

Finis called me after returning from a trip to San Antonio and asked if I had been there recently. He had seen a picture of Bill Clinton in a restaurant and teasingly remarked to the owner that he really needed a picture of Gennifer Flowers to put up on the wall next to Bill. The restaurant owner didn't know Finis' connection to me, and he told him I had been in the restaurant the previous weekend and he had taken a picture of me; he just hadn't gotten it developed yet. I've never been to San Antonio, either.

After the story broke in the Star, people came out of the woodwork claiming a connection with Bill and me. One woman said she had flown to Mexico on a Lear jet with Bill and me. Another woman swore she and her boyfriend spent a great deal of time socializing with Bill and me and provided details about the places we went together. Interesting. During the entire twelve years Bill and I were together, we never once went out in public as a couple. We never socialized with anyone as a couple.

A well-educated, professional man, who lives in the same building as I do, told a friend of mine he personally saw the Secret Service pull up in the garage of the building. He claimed they cleared the area, made everyone leave, but he saw Bill Clinton get out of the car and go up to my apartment. This was after Bill was elected president!

I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally enjoy some perks as a result of my notoriety, though. The European trips were fabulous, and I must admit I rarely have trouble getting a table in a restaurant or club, even if it's packed with people. I often get seated in the VIP section of clubs, like the House of Blues in New Orleans. Finis and I went in there one night and were seated in the same section as Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. It's an extremely popular place with lines out the door of people waiting to get in. We were escorted past the line and right into the restaurant as guests of the owner.

Every once in awhile, something spontaneous and totally unexpected will happen that gives me a warm feeling. My mother and I attended the Thalian Ball in Hollywood in October 1994. The ball is the main fund-raiser for the Thalian Mental Health Center at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. Debbie Reynolds is the president of the fund-raiser and Ruta Lee is the Board Chair. Each year the benefit honors a Mr. or Ms. Wonderful, usually someone in the entertainment business. Past honorees have included Angela Lansbury, Jimmy Stewart and Liza Minelli.

The year Mother and I attended, dozens of Hollywood stars were there, and they were all introduced, one by one. I was also introduced and, to my surprise, the applause was thunderous. I thought maybe it was my imagination, but later that week newspaper accounts of the Ball all mentioned that I received the most enthusiastic applause of the evening. I took it as a sign of growing dissatisfaction in Hollywood with liberal politics.

Two years earlier, when Finis and I attended the Ball, I had received even more press coverage. I remember we got in line with other celebrities, and at the top of the escalator that went down to the ballroom, staff members stopped us and pulled us apart from the others. We didn't know why until they asked the others to stand back and escorted us down alone. It turned out the press had been waiting for me. There were 60 or 70 reporters there waiting to ask me questions and snap my picture. The attitude at that time, however, was very pro-Clinton, and I got the impression that most of the celebrities in attendance resented the attention I got. It's funny how two years (and lots of shocking revelations) can change a society's feelings about its leaders.

I feel like, in some ways, my story helped bring about that change in sentiment. It was the seed that began to plant doubt in people's minds about Bill's character. At first, people were reluctant to believe me. Then, as things began to unfold and more and more stories started to come out about him and his dealings, people starting taking a closer look. I began hearing things like, "We should have known." Without my story, and it's corroborating evidence, it would have taken people much longer to unearth the truth about Bill.

When Republicans soundly defeated Democrats in elections around the country, I actually cried, because I felt that I had played a part in opening people's eyes to the truth. As I spoke on talk shows around the country over the past two years, people would ask me, "What can we do?" And I would tell them, "We can vote. We live in a democracy where we are free to choose our leaders." I told them to form groups, write letters, let others know how they felt. And that's just what happened. They sent a message to Congress saying "We want change."

* * * *

My life today is so different from what it was three years ago. I still get lots of offers to do various things, mostly in relation to Bill, and I'll do them if they appeal to me or sound like they might be fun. For example, on Bill's birthday I did a parody of Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" tribute to John F. Kennedy at the request of Comedy Central. I was flown to New York and spent four or five hours being made up to look like Marilyn. My hair was styled like hers, and they found a dress that was similar to the one she wore.

I sang "Happy Birthday" and then sang a satirical little ditty composed by the Comedy Central writers. We cut a cake for him, and then I held a little press conference. Someone asked me how I thought Bill would take it, and I said I thought he'd get a chuckle out of it -- privately of course. Then I was asked if I thought Hillary would laugh. Had I been thinking, I would have said I hoped she had a sense of humor, too. But instead I blurted out, that I didn't really care what she thought.

Another appearance I agreed to do was for He Said, She Said, a satirical magazine that devoted an issue to my affair with Bill. The publishers, First Amendment Publishing, sent me a copy and asked for my endorsement. I read the magazine and thought it was hilarious, so I agreed to attend a signing at a book store in New York. It was scheduled to last two hours, but the crowd was much bigger than they expected and so enthusiastic that I just stayed until I'd signed every copy. It took four hours and I signed over seven hundred copies of that magazine.

A friend had gone with me, and, during the signing, had a minor disagreement with a woman who was waiting in line. The woman insisted I was Ivana Trump! My friend assured her I truly was Gennifer Flowers, and all the signs in the bookstore said Gennifer Flowers, but the woman was insistent. She said "I know Ivana Trump when I see her, and that's Ivana Trump!" At least she didn't accuse me of being Hillary Clinton.

I thank the good Lord I've been able to maintain my sense of humor. There are times when the absurdity of everything that has happened makes me laugh out loud. And I'm not above poking fun at myself, either. I have a life-sized cardboard image of Bill that I keep in my apartment. It's quite realistic and at first glance can be mistaken for an actual person. I can't even remember why I acquired it, but one evening I decided to have some fun with it.

I was going out with some girlfriends, and I insisted they come to my apartment before we were to leave. I set my "Cardboard Bill" up in the foyer, and when I opened the door the girls came in and were face to face with Bill Clinton! I casually said, "Have you ladies met Bill Clinton?" And for the fraction of a second before they realized he wasn't real, the look of astonishment on their faces was priceless!

My little joke backfired on me, though, later that evening. I had left Bill standing in the foyer and forgot all about him by the time I came home. I opened my door, and for a brief instant thought Bill was standing there, waiting for me. I let out a scream before I remembered what it was. The shock of thinking he was there took ten years off my life. When I recovered, I gathered Bill up and stored him, face against the wall, in my garage. I didn't want any more surprises like that.

I hope someday to be able to sing professionally again. Even though I have achieved a moderate level of financial security, I miss being out there, doing what I love best. I miss the business end of it, too. That was one of the facets of my personality that Bill admired the most. I had a creative talent, but I was also capable of being in control of the practical end of my business. Bill once said to me, "You and I are so much alike. We both are driven to succeed."

That's true, we are both driven to succeed and his drive has taken him into the White House. Bill is bumping heads with the national good ol' boys now, and they are just as powerful, just as strong, and just as cunning as he is, and like him, they have big money behind them. He thought he would be able to establish a power structure in Washington like he did in Arkansas, but he's way out of his league. It's turned into a real battle for him. They win a round, he wins a round; but in the end, I think he may lose. I don't know whether or not he'll be re-elected, but I doubt it.

In a lot of ways, I think things have turned out better for me than they have for him. He may be the president of the United States, but he doesn't look like a happy or secure man. I've certainly had some demoralizing low points throughout this whole ordeal, but my perspective is a little different. I'm not dealing with the problems of a nation, only my own difficulties in getting through another day. And in retrospect, I probably wouldn't change a whole lot that's happened to me.

I have learned who is really important in my life: the friends and family members who have stood by me and provided unwavering support in spite of any doubts they might have had about me or my motives. My parents have been there every step of the way. They haven't hesitated to express their opinions, and oftentimes they disagreed with me, but their support has never been conditional.

My dear friend Margie Moore has been a rock in a stormy sea. Since the day I met her in the Cipango Club in Dallas, she has been a loyal and trustworthy friend who has never let me down. And, of course, there's Finis. He had to overcome a lot of doubts about me, and I'm the first to admit that in the beginning I was less than honest with him about my relationship with Bill. Even though we broke up for a couple of years, by the grace of God he never went too far away.

Everything that has happened in relation to my affair with Bill has combined to make me the woman I am today, good or bad. It has taken every ounce of the sweetness and the sorrow to mold me into this person and to provide me with the knowledge and experience I have gained. For all the heartache, each and every thing has contributed to making me Gennifer with a "G."

I wonder sometimes what it would be like to see Bill again and talk to him. So much has happened between us in the past three years, and yet we've never had the opportunity to share our thoughts or feelings about it. I daydream sometimes about what that might be like. All the emotions I have had -- sadness, anger, frustration -- I'm sure he has had too. I have hated many of the things he and his troops have done to me, and I'm sure he isn't happy with every choice I've made.

I really loved Bill, and I believed he loved me, too. I thought what we had was a real relationship between two passionate, caring people, but I learned otherwise. In the end, he turned out to be nothing more than a Cardboard Bill ... a flat, two-dimensional piece of hardened paper, empty of all feelings.

So, like the cardboard cutout of him I have stored in my garage, I will pack away the real Cardboard Bill, and all the memories that go with him, and move onto the next stage of my life. Richer for having known him? A little. And wiser? Most definitely.
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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

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Gennifer Flowers Uncovered
December, 1992



















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Re: Passion & Betrayal, by Gennifer Flowers with Jacquelyn D

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