WASHINGTON – Warning that American voters risk returning a sexual predator to the White House in 2008, the woman who accused President Bill Clinton of fondling her in the Oval Office nearly 15 years ago is renewing her allegations and making new ones in a tell-all book.
Kathleen Willey, whose husband was found dead in the Virginia woods in 1993 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound — the same day Willey claims the then-president made an unwanted sexual pass at her, now suggests that the Clintons may have had something to do with Ed Willey's death.
But the former White House volunteer said that's not her primary purpose in writing the book.
"One of the other reasons that I wrote the book is that ... I would hope that women especially would read this story because statistics show that one in three women today have to deal with sexual harassment and that's way too many women in this world today in the year 2007," Willey told FOX News on Thursday.
"I'm speaking for women out there who were afraid to come and talk and speak up," Willey said.
In a broad array of charges, Willey's latest claim is that someone tried over Labor Day to steal from her house the manuscript for her new book, "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton."
In the book, she rehashes several charges first made at the end of the Clinton administration — including that her cat Bullseye went missing and on the day she was supposed to testify for another Clinton accuser, Paula Jones, a would-be jogger approached her and cryptically suggested that Bullseye was dead. Jones, who sued the president for sexual harassment, received an out of court settlement from Clinton for $875,000 in 1998. In the settlement, he never admitted to any improprieties.
Willey claims Hillary Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate, had “enabled” her husband’s alleged sexual indiscretions by coercing and intimidating the women who made claims against him. She said the then-first lady orchestrated smear campaigns against her and other women and hired public investigators and lawyers to protect the Clinton’s political interests.
“Through no fault of our own, we were smeared in the media, terrorized by thugs, audited by the IRS, followed by strangers and victimized by threats,” Willey wrote in her book. “Our homes were broken into and our pets were killed. And we know that Hillary and her minions were behind the terror.”
"She's behind the secret police. She's the one who sets up the war room when he goes out and he does what he does and he zeroes in on women," Willey told FOX News, noting that her book offers considerable details on that charge.
Willey's is the latest in a series of books recently released that casts aspersions on the former first lady ahead of the competitive Democratic presidential primary and general 2008 election, and it makes the boldest accusations in terms of Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions and the former president’s reputation as a womanizer.
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has not responded to numerous requests for comments. At the time the accusations were first made, Bill Clinton denied making unwanted advances to Willey and testified as such to White House investigators.
Meanwhile, Willey's own credibility has been questioned on several occasions, and her book glosses over discrepancies found in her deposition in the Paula Jones suit and testimony she later gave to the independent counsel investigating the Monica Lewinsky case. (The House of Representatives approved impeachment articles in 1998 against Clinton for lying about his affair with the White House intern, but the Senate voted not to impeach the president.)
Noting the discrepancies, Independent Counsel Robert Ray concluded in his final report in 2002 that “in short, there was insufficient evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that President Clinton’s testimony regarding Kathleen Willey was false.”
As the impeachment scandal was emerging, Willey gave her story to CBS’ "60 Minutes." Later, Salon.com writer Ben Shapiro shared his doubts about Willey’s story, pointing out that court documents revealed that her late husband, who had served as a prominent fundraiser for the Clintons, had been accused of fleecing a brother and sister in a real estate scheme. Ed Willey was in bad financial straits and was facing a lawsuit from the two when he died.
After his death, Kathleen Willey refused to pay back the brother and sister the money, according to the documents, and she accused them of pushing her husband to his death.
Critics have also questioned why Willey sought a paying job at the White House after the alleged incident with Clinton. Willey had been working as a volunteer in the White House social office and as she tells it, had approached the president before and after her service seeking work because of her family’s financial problems — a need that became more intense after Ed Willey’s death.
In her defense, Willey says she didn't ask for a job in the East Wing of the White House, just for help from Clinton getting in contact with people in her hometown of Richmond, Va., who would hire her.
"My family was facing the worst financial crisis, the worst family crisis we had ever faced. I went to him in a time of need, I needed help. And I have no problem. I have been criticized for going to him and asking him for help. I didn't have a problem with that. I had helped him when he needed help," she told FOX News.
In her book, Willey suggests that perhaps her husband didn’t kill himself after all, that perhaps his death had to do with his fundraising for the Clintons, rather than a crooked real estate deal. “The possibility lingers, logically or not, that Ed was murdered.”
Willey adds that she can't believe that Hillary Clinton would now try to use her gender in order to defend herself against criticism in the Democratic campaign.
"I think it's interesting that she's pulled out the gender card now and they're both accusing everyone of piling on. Well, I know what piling on feels like, they did it to me. They piled on. It was awful. My character, my reputation, the things that were so untrue and twisted around and misinformation and mysteries," Willey said. "She talks about piling on. You know what? You know what I want to say to Hillary Clinton? How does it feel? Now you know."
The book, released this week by a small conservative publisher, World Ahead Publishing, Inc., a partner of the WorldNet Daily news outlet, is meant to dredge up many of the scandals and conspiracy theories swirling around the Clintons' time in office from 1993 through 2001 in order to put a dent in Hillary Clinton’s armor, said Juan Williams, FOX News contributor and correspondent for National Public Radio.
“It’s all part of this double-edged sword represented by Bill Clinton,” Williams said, pointing out that on one hand, Sen. Clinton's presidential campaign can invoke all the good feelings for President Clinton as a highly regarded and well-liked leader at a time the country was doing well. On the other hand, “the cutting edge is you go back to all the questionable scandals, beginning with Whitewater, and then to people like Kathleen Willey."
“What you are seeing are the storm clouds gathering, this is the leading edge of what’s going to be an attack on Hillary Clinton,” said Williams.