WASHINGTON: So she won't get an apology from Bill. Will 850,000 small bills help? Paula Jones settled her four-year-old sexual harassment suit against President Clinton Friday -- and the case that brought the country to the brink of impeachment is finally closed. "The President has decided he is not prepared to spend one more hour on this matter," said Clinton attorney Bob Bennett, who will hand over $850,000 on behalf of his client within the next 60y days. Paula is also "very pleased that it's finally over," according to Jones lawyer Bill McMillan. She'd better be. Her legal fees are climbing toward the $2 million mark, and since the $1 million offered by New York real estate tycoon Abe Hirschfeld was dropped as part of the deal, Paula's chances of climbing out of debt any time soon are slim.
Still, her backers will be eager to put a positive spin on the deal. And within the Jones camp, spokeswoman Susan Carpenter McMillan has won a significant victory over her longtime rivals at the Rutherford Institute and the Dallas law firm Rader, Campbell, Fisher & Pyke, all of whom were threatening to walk out after concluding an appeal of the Jones case dismissal. It was only when McMillan's husband, Bill, got involved in negotiations that a deal was brokered. Indeed, it came as a surprise to many that a settlement could be reached at all in the wake of midterm elections that put the White House in a buoyant mood. As an encore, perhaps the McMillans can drum up a book deal for their impoverished client.