Scandal Interruptus

A DNA comparison finds that there's a bit less Jefferson in William Jefferson Clinton than some had suspected.

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Special ReportNEW YORK: Bill Clinton has been dogged for years by the rumor that in Arkansas he fathered a child of an African-American prostitute. In 1992 the tale was flogged by the tabloid Globe. But it really took off last week when news leaked that the tabloid Star was conducting DNA tests to confirm or refute the rumors once and for all, provoking a frenzy of speculation in Washington after the story leapt, in the usual fashion, from the Drudge Report to the New York Post to papers around the world.

Using the Starr Report's FBI analysis of Clinton's DNA as its reference, Star paid former prostitute Bobbie Ann Williams, the source for the Globe article, and her 13-year-old son for their story and blood samples. And the result: "There was no match. Not even close," says a Star source. (The Starr Report contains sufficient data to make a valid DNA comparison to rule out paternity.) But if the tabloid was disappointed by the results, it's putting up a good, Brill's Content-ready front. Says editor in chief Phil Bunton: "We investigate dozens of stories every week, and if they don't prove to be true, we don't run them."