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After the incident, Broaddrick says, Clinton made several attempts to make amends. In 1984, when her nursing home was named best in the state, Governor Clinton scrawled "I admire you very much" on the official letter. In 1991 she was called out of a conference to find Clinton waiting for her and asking what he could do to make things right. She rebuffed him.
After turning away legions of reporters, Broaddrick decided to sit down for a taped interview with NBC's Lisa Myers on Jan. 20. The network's delay in airing it angered Broaddrick, so she turned to Journal editorial-board member Dorothy Rabinowitz to tell her story. NBC insists that it has not killed the story but is just trying to confirm Broaddrick's charges to its satisfaction. "The story is not dead," an NBC executive told TIME. "We're working it hard."
The White House last week issued a firm denial. "Any allegation that the President assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false," said David Kendall, Clinton's personal lawyer. With impeachment over and the statute of limitations on the alleged crime long passed, the story seems unlikely to have much traction. Broaddrick herself says, "I'm just hoping this absolutely goes away in the next week." A weary nation would probably agree.
--Reported by Jay Branegan, Karen Tumulty and Michael Weisskopf/Washington