Willey Drops Out of the Spotlight

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RICHMOND: She may have shocked a nation with allegations aired Sunday, but for now Kathleen Willey is as silent as Monica Lewinsky. And unlike the 24-year-old former intern, the 51-year-old former Democratic volunteer doesn't have William Ginsburg to do the talk-show rounds for her. Indeed, David Gecker -- Willey's Richmond-based attorney -- was not returning any reporters' phone calls Tuesday. His vow of silence came as Michael Viner, head of New Millennium Entertainment in Beverly Hills, confirmed that Gecker had come to him seeking a $300,000 deal for Willey's autobiography. "She needed a lifeboat," said Viner of the insolvent Ms. Willey, "and I think that was it." Interestingly, Viner says he nixed the idea only after watching her performance on "60 Minutes": "It was not the same set of facts we were presented with," he complained.

Meanwhile, the men behind the CBS show -- interviewer Ed Bradley and producer Don Hewitt -- had done their own disappearing act Tuesday. That left CBS News president Andrew Heyward to respond to allegations that Bradley had not been nearly skeptical enough of Willey's claims -- or, as one TV critic put it, "the American public might have been better served if David Letterman had done the questioning." Replied Heyward: "I've never known '60 Minutes' to pull a punch." But as Kathleen Willey herself claims, there's always a first time.