WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 -- In August, Monica Lewinsky told independent counsel Kenneth Starr's grand jury: 'I never expected to fall in love with the president. I was surprised that I did.' Publicly, President Clinton has characterized his sexual relationship with Lewinsky as 'inappropriate' and 'wrong,' and admitted it 'constituted a critical lapse of judgment.' He has not described it publicly as a love affair. According to Lewinsky's grand jury testimony, as quoted in the summary report released today by Starr, the former White House intern felt the relationship deep in her heart. Starr says she called Clinton 'handsome.' He says Clinton called Lewinsky 'sweetie,' 'baby' and 'dear.' Lewinsky estimated Clinton gave her 30 gifts and she gave him 18. They spoke on the phone as many as 50 times, including 15 occasions the special prosecutor describes as 'phone sex.' It may have been true love or it may have been simple lust -- or both. But according to Lewinsky's testimony, 'The emotional and friendship aspects...developed after the beginning of our sexual relationship.' Starr details in his report 10 sexual encounters between Clinton and Lewinsky at the White House -- eight while she worked there and two later while she worked at the Pentagon. Starr claims their physical relationship included oral sex and touching but not sexual intercourse. Lewinsky's friend Neysa Erbland, a grand jury witness, said the love- struck intern thought the president might leave his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton after he left the White House.
The report says the president told Lewinsky, 'Who knows what will happen four years from now when I am out of office?' Erbland testified her friend thought such remarks by Clinton meant 'maybe she will be his wife.' And on the witness stand, Lewinsky recalled a conversation with Clinton about their possible future together. 'He jokingly said, 'Well, what are we going to do when I'm 75 and I have to pee 25 times a day?' I told him that we'd deal with that. I left that day sort of emotionally stunned....I just knew he was in love with me.' In love with Lewinsky or not, Starr says Clinton ended their sexual relationship with a private conversation on May 24, 1997, because he feared Lewinsky's indiscretions about the affair. Sitting in the study adjacent to the Oval Office, where they had had several sexual encounters, Clinton broke it off. The president said he hoped they could remain friends, Lewinsky testified. She said they kissed and hugged but she knew the sexual relationship was finally over. ---
Copyright 1998 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---