Susan McDougal (born 1955 in Heidelberg, Germany) is one of the few people who served prison time as a result of the Whitewater controversy in the United States, though fifteen individuals were convicted of federal charges. She is most notorious for refusing to answer "three questions" for a grand jury about whether President Bill Clinton lied in his testimony during her Whitewater trial. Her refusal led to 18 months jail time for contempt of court, which was most of her total 22 months of incarceration. McDougal received a full Presidential pardon from outgoing President Clinton in the final hours of his presidency in 2001.
McDougal was born Susan Carol Henley, the daughter of James B. Henley and Laurette (Mathieu) Henley. Her brother, John Henley, is a Youth Minister within the Methodist church. Susan McDougal was married from 1976 until 1990 to James B. McDougal, also of Little Rock, Arkansas. The McDougals were partners with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the failed Whitewater real estate venture in the 1980s.
McDougal separated from Jim McDougal in the late 1980s and moved to Los Angeles. There, from 1989 until the summer of 1992, she worked in Los Angeles as a personal assistant to actress Nancy Mehta, wife of noted conductor Zubin Mehta. In late 1993, McDougal was charged with embezzling money from Mehta, and began preparing her defense against the charges .