Where Now for Willey?

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WASHINGTON: You could be forgiven for thinking you've seen this before. Only two days after Kathleen Willey broadcast her account of presidential assault, the affair has acquired more than a hint of Anita Hill. Feminist groups rally to her defense, political opponents smell blood, and her alleged attacker's supporters release documents showing she kept in touch with him after the incident purportedly took place. The White House was swift to release 20 chatty handwritten letters and phone logs late Monday, and they don't help Willey's case.

Special Report "Your No.1 fan thanks you every day," she writes in November 1994, one year after the Oval Office meeting. Even the night after it happened, in the aftermath of her husband's suicide, Willey found a moment to phone the White House: The President, she said, could call her "anytime." Also, Clinton attorney Bob Bennett turned up on "Larry King" Monday night to propound a motive for her allegations. Willey, he claims, is more than $100,000 in debt -- and her attorney Dan Gecker was arranging a $300,000 book deal just days before the "60 Minutes" gig. Gecker denied the charge: "There is no market for anti-Clinton books," he said.

Unlike the Anita Hill affair, this scandal now has nowhere to go. There are no Senate hearings, Willey has brought no legal charges, and Ken Starr seems more concerned with the mystery testimony of New York actress Sherrie Densuk. While GOP grandees talk of "profound consquences," Clinton's job approval rating continues to skyrocket -- jumping 4 points to 67 percent in the latest CNN/USA Today poll. Further downtown, Clarence Thomas sits very comfortably in the Supreme Court.