Lewinsky Deal Declared Dead

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Last week, she was frolicking on a Malibu beach at a Vanity Fair photo shoot. But now it looks as if the good times are over for Monica Lewinsky. Her courtroom bid to enforce the immunity deal she made with Ken Starr back in January has failed. In a sealed decision leaked to reporters Thursday, Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled the written suggestion -- immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony -- was not actually a binding agreement. That leaves Starr free to make his next move: Either call Lewinsky before the grand jury, or simply indict her for perjury.

Special ReportWhether the independent counsel would dare play hardball in the face of widespread hostility is another question. Nathaniel Speights, Lewinsky’s Washington-based attorney, knows what it would look like to the man in the street: “Somebody being indicted for having a sexual relationship with the President.” Both Speights and William Ginsburg have previously said they would appeal in the event of this decision -- which should buy Monica just a little more frolicking time.