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Highlights of Interviews With Gennifer Flowers

Aired August 5, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: A married political who lied about sex, a mistress who made tabloid headlines and affected a White House race; highlights of our conversations with Gennifer Flowers next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Thanks for joining us. The public first heard about Gennifer Flowers during the New Hampshire presidential primary of '92. Her claim of an affair with Bill Clinton rocked his White House campaign to the roots, and probably primed the pump for scandals to come.

Gennifer Flowers first sat down with us in January of '98, just days after the Monica Lewinsky story broke. Less than a week before our conversation, in a sworn deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, then-President Clinton admitted he'd had an affair with Flowers. I asked her whether she felt vindicated.


GENNIFER FLOWERS: I do feel vindicated. However, I felt initially when the story first came out that it had so much corroboration on a number of basis.

KING: Your story?

FLOWERS: My story. That I should have felt some indication back then, but it didn't work that way. But now certainly now that he's admitted to the relationship -- yes.

KING: The report is he admitted to it. We don't know what he said in deposition. That's presumed from some source.

FLOWERS: Certainly, and indeed, if it's accurate, of course I feel vindicated.

KING: If it's accurate, are you surprised that he admitted it because he was seen saying he didn't?

FLOWERS: I am surprised that he admitted it, but I think there was so much corroboration to our relationship. It lasted for so many years, that I would think he would have to be very cautious about lying under oath about it, concerned that if indeed something came out, if there was some more evidence to be brought forward to substantiate that relationship, then he would have been in big trouble. KING: Do you have mixed feelings, you had a long relationship as you say, so you must have cared for him?

FLOWERS: I loved him. He loved me.

KING: Would you have married him if he were free to marry?

FLOWERS: At first I thought that I wanted to marry Bill. When I first started seeing him, he and Hillary were only married 18 months, and they did not have a child. And at first we talked about things like that, thought that maybe -- that that was a possibility.

KING: Therefore since those kind of things don't just go away, isn't there some sadness in you tonight?


KING: You still have some feelings don't you? Or do you?

FLOWERS: I do. In fact, I have a lot of feelings and I have a lot of emotions that I deal with on a daily basis. A lot of my memories that are triggered from seeing a road sign will end back up with him. You see? So it doesn't go away with me?

KING: Big part of your life?

FLOWERS: A huge part of my life. When I first started seeing him I was 27. When I ended the physical relationship I was 40 -- so yes a huge part of my life.

KING: So do you have double feelings now?

FLOWERS: I do. I do feel sad. I feel -- I feel grateful. I feel mad.


FLOWERS: Well, you know, I have had my dukes up for five years because he denied our relationship and then he let loose his spin doctors to try to destroy me. So I have been going through an ordeal now for five years and yeah, I am mad about that. My mother is mad about that.

KING: If you had to look back would you say if you had to do it over, you would not have broken it through the "Star" a tabloid, which made it easier for the networks to knock, than going through "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," CNN, ABC, something like that?

FLOWERS: Hindsight has 20/20, of course. I didn't have a master plan that I was accused of. I was a little girl from Arkansas I was very scared at that point.


FLOWERS: My home had been ransacked, I had received threats. My mother received threats. People were getting beaten. I was afraid for my life basically.

KING: Why did you come forward?

FLOWERS: I didn't come forward. I didn't one time pursue the media. They pursued me. When the "Star" magazine came to Little Rock and found out about the Larry Nichols (ph) lawsuit and the press release with my name in it they started pursuing that.

KING: That all came out of that lawsuit right? You never came forward and had said you had this relationship?

FLOWERS: No, until I went to New York with my attorney with the intention of threatening these people, because I was very naive that point and I thought we'd controlled everybody everything in Arkansas that we could continue to control this. Found out then that because of that Larry Nichols lawsuit, it had become public information. They already had a story in print -- that was a Thursday coming out on Tuesday.

KING: Were you at a point then of still caring and thinking about denying? We hear him say deny on that tape. Did you think, maybe I can get away with it by just...

FLOWERS: No it was coming out. You see, the first story that came out by the "Star" was not with my cooperation. That was about the Larry Nichols lawsuit with my picture in it. I had state job that he'd gotten me that I knew I could not go back to, because it had already been questioned as to how I had gotten that job. My home had been ransacked. I was afraid -- I knew my life was over as I knew it. I was afraid.

KING: Were you surprised when the Jim Carville's and the Dee Myers kind jumped all over you and your reputation?

FLOWERS: Look, I was a big enough girl by then. My father was in politics. He was Republican county chairman for Rockefeller (ph) in Arkansas. I mean, I knew enough to know that they were going do what they could to protect themselves, but did that feel good? Absolutely not. It still doesn't feel good when I hear James Carville saying my tapes very doctored and I hear Dee Dee Myers saying that, when I have verification documents those tapes were never tampered with in any way.

KING: Why were you taping? A lot of people are talking. In fact, a poll on CNN, 60 percent of Americans didn't like the fact that this friend taped Lewinsky. We don't like that, that subterfuge.

Why did you do it?

FLOWERS: Well, I didn't like having to do it. I in fact felt bad about doing the first one. I didn't do another one for several months after that until things started really heating up again. But...

KING: What was -- what was the prompter that made you do it? Why? FLOWERS: Well, for my safety. If something happened to me, I wanted there to be...

KING: A record?

FLOWERS: Let me tell you this, if I had wanted to have a library of audio and videotapes of Bill Clinton, I could have had that. And after I was accused of being a liar, I wished that I had of.



FLOWERS: Do be real honest with you, I'm not completely surprised. I didn't think it would start this quickly. But I think, Bill, you're being naive if you think that these other shows like "Current Affair" and -- oh, what are some of the others? "Hard Copy."

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought they'd look into it. But, you know, I just think a crazy person like Larry Nichols is not enough to get a story on the television with names and...

FLOWERS: Right. Well, he better not get on there and start naming names.

CLINTON: Well, even if all the people who are named deny it -- that's all. I mean, I expect them to come look into it and interview and everything, but I just think that if everybody's on record denying it, you've got no problem.




W. CLINTON: It was only when money came out -- when the tabloid went down there offering people money to day that they had been involved with me -- that she changed her story. There's a recession, and times are tough, and I think you can expect more and more of these stories as long as they're down there handing out money.

STEVE KROFT, CBS CORRESPONDENT: I'm assuming from your answer that you're categorically denying that you ever had an affair with Gennifer Flowers.

W. CLINTON: I've said that before.



KING: Before we ask about Monica Lewinsky, and this is painful for the entire nation to have to live through this, if true. When he went on "60 Minutes" with Hillary and said he never had a relationship with you, I assume you were watching.

What did you think?

FLOWERS: Well, I thought -- I thought he had the opportunity, actually, to be a hero.

KING: By saying?

FLOWERS: By saying -- even acknowledging that he had been involved with women. He didn't have to -- he could have made it generic and not specific to me, but that his wife knew about it, which she did know about our affair, and they wanted to get on with their lives. Instead he chose to give what people call a very typical political answer. He actually said that I was an acquaintance, casual acquaintance.

KING: Did that bug you, hurt you?

FLOWERS: Sure it did.

KING: Both.

FLOWERS: Sure it bugged me, hurt me. The old saying, are you going to believe me or your lying eyes -- deny, deny, that's what he was doing.

KING: Are you convinced he loved you.

FLOWERS: I am convinced that he loved me.

KING: Did you think he was seeing others while seeing you?

FLOWERS: I did not.

KING: When the Monica Lewinsky thing first broke this week -- first reaction?

FLOWERS: Well, I predicted that something like this might happen before he ended his term.

KING: You were not surprised?

FLOWERS: I was not surprised. I think it's a tragic situation for Ms. Lewinsky, however, regardless...

KING: If. We have to keep saying because we don't know.

FLOWERS: She's really in a no-win situation.

KING: Because?

FLOWERS: Because she denied it under oath. Yet she said she had a relationship with him.

KING: To a friend.

FLOWERS: On tape to a friend. Either way she goes she doesn't look very good.

KING: One of them was a lie?

FLOWERS: One of them was a lie, yes and she's very young.

KING: In defense of Mr. Clinton, are we jumping too much on the fact that we're determining what was a lie and what wasn't, and that we don't know?

FLOWERS: I think given the circumstances of what I call the gates, all of the things that have happened since Bill has been in office, Whitewater-gate, FBI-gate, Travel-gate, Gennifer Flowers-gate, Vince Foster-gate, I think it's a very natural instinct at this point to want to make these assumptions because he's proven himself in the past, on a few occasions to be less than honest.

KING: What did you think of the Paula Jones matter when that erupted?

FLOWERS: Well, I do not personally know Bill as someone that would sexually harass. He never sexually harassed me.

KING: So you doubt that story?

FLOWERS: I don't know what to think. I am like everyone else that is interested, I'd like to hear the evidence.

KING: When you say never sexually -- in other words when he asked you to go out, you went out. He didn't say do this and I'll do that? There was no quid pro quo?

FLOWERS: There was not. In fact the first evening we spent together we just talked to a couple of hours and he kissed me good night on the cheek and that was that. And it was wonderful. He actually seduced my mind that night is what he did and it was a great feeling because I anticipated something very differently, and I was hooked.

KING: If true, why an intern?

FLOWERS: Well, why not?

KING: That's what -- people most about this.

FLOWERS: Because she's young. Bill is a very virile man. He's -- he's got a lot of soul and emotion and, you know, I -- I don't know why someone that young. She's a beautiful woman. And perhaps he was attracted. And in his opinion, there's nothing wrong with that.



W. CLINTON: Didn't happen.

QUESTION: But she says... QUESTION: On the tape you say...


W. CLINTON: I told her to deny it because it didn't happen.


QUESTION: ... just tell the truth.

W. CLINTON: Well, I'm sure they didn't put that in there, but I told her that several times.

QUESTION: Did you tell her there were no tapes; governor, did you tell her that?

W. CLINTON: No, no. I mean, how would I know if there were any tapes. She called me months ago and said that she's been offered $50,000 to change her story, that she told the person who offered the money it wasn't true. The person who said, well who cares whether it's true, all you have to do is say it. And he'll be subject to just what you see here today.



KING: We're with Gennifer Flowers. Do you see parallels between you and Ms. Lewinsky?

FLOWERS: I do. I do see parallels. And...

KING: Like?

FLOWERS: Well, in reference to, like I said, the fact that I think he probably encourage -- if -- if the evidence comes out that he indeed encouraged her to tell falsehoods under oath, then...

KING: Do you think she might have fallen in love too?

FLOWERS: Possibly. I don't -- I don't quite get it that way, myself.

KING: What do you get it?

FLOWERS: I -- and I don't know her. But she's a very young woman. And I think perhaps maybe she got caught up with intrigue and the glamour and the power, the excitement of the power. People used to ask me: "Well, was it the power that attracted you to Bill Clinton?" And I said, well, how much power do you think the attorney general of Arkansas has? Of course not. It wasn't that for me. I just a thought he was wonderful in general. But I think in her case, being in the White House and having access to the president, certainly, she could have, you know, been infatuated with that kind of situation. KING: If what we hear is all true -- and this is a big if because there's a lot to go down the road, and we don't ever want to make assumption -- how do you explain that such a bright person and a brilliant politician would get like this?

FLOWERS: I don't think you really want me to answer this and be honest.

KING: Why? You know him. Why do bad things happen to good...

FLOWERS: I'd think he was thinking with another head instead of this one.

KING: Is that something that he's always had a problem with you or not?


KING: Because you thought he was in love with you. He was monogamous with you.

FLOWERS: But what he did want to me many times was take chances. I mean there was one time he wanted me to have sex with him at the governor's mansion with his wife out on the lawn just a feet away. And I said no. Because I was concerned -- I was afraid. But he would have done that. So he has the propensity to let that dominate his way of thinking at times. He's a chance taker. And he will make chances.

KING: He wanted to make love with Hillary...

FLOWERS: With me.

KING: With Hillary right nearby.

FLOWERS: Well, not only Hillary, but 50 other guests. And it was a bathroom that anyone could have gone in. Anyone could have walked in that door.

KING: Let's get a call for Gennifer Flowers. Roanoke, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hello, I'd just like to ask Ms. Flowers why she as well as the other ones seem to have waited so long to come forward with their information as far as exposing at -- why did they wait? Why was there such -- until they were in higher office, seems like it was for more attention.

FLOWERS: Well, actually, when my story became public, Bill was still in the primary. He was third in the pack. He hadn't gotten the Democratic nomination. I didn't break the story. It was broken through a lawsuit by Larry Nichols. It became public information then by the "Star" publication. So you know mine was early on and it was not at my control and not something that I wanted to happen.

KING: And the Lewinsky story was broken by this friend, wasn't it? FLOWERS: Yes.

KING: Who went to Starr and the others?

FLOWERS: Right, Linda Tripp.

KING: This is, of course, all very tabloidish and messy. Is it hard for you?

FLOWERS: It's been extremely difficult for me for the last five years. And I -- the reality has really not soaked in yet. And talking about the admission from Bill, I mean, even McCurry acknowledged that...

KING: He sort of acknowledged.

FLOWERS: Well, he sort of acknowledged...

KING: Did he affirmatively say Bill said he had a relationship with you in a deposition?

FLOWERS: He said that he had addressed what he considered the relationship was about. And I don't know exactly what that was. What I have seen was that it took place in 1970 when it actually started in 1977, but went on. But here again...

KING: You also said that Hillary knew about you?

FLOWERS: Yes, she did.

KING: Handled it pretty well, then, didn't she?

FLOWERS: She did. I tried to be -- I really was more concerned about Hillary and about his family most of the time than he was.

KING: Really?

FLOWERS: I tried to be -- yes. We would all be together at times at various functions and so forth. And he'd try to pay me a great deal of attention with her there. And I would encourage him not to do that.



QUESTION: Why should the American people believe the president's denial with regard to this when, in 1992, he told us that he did not have an affair with Gennifer Flowers, and currently has now testified under oath that he did?

MIKE MCCURRY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president knows that he told the truth in 1992 when he was asked about that relationship, and he knows that he testified truthfully on Saturday. And he knows his answers are not at odds. That's all I can say on that subject because of the order of the court that we not provide any additional information on the deposition.




FLOWERS: So I'm here to repeat in front of all of you what I said in my "Star" article: "Yes, I was Bill Clinton's lover for 12 years. And for the past two years I have lied to the press about our relationship to protect him. The truth is, I loved him."



KING: We started by asking about mixed emotions.

Do you think this might bring down the presidency? And if that happened, wouldn't you have mixed emotions?

FLOWERS: I think that it could bring down the presidency, and yes, I would have mix emotions.

KING: There's a sadness about all of this, if true. Isn't there?

FLOWERS: There is a sadness.

KING: I mean, you loved him.

FLOWERS: I did love him. Yes. I am sad about that, but just recently, I have seen all of -- gone back into the archives and gotten the "60 Minutes" interview and various things he said and denied and so on. And that brings back those bad feelings and the anger. Yeah, I think it's sad in general, not just for me.

KING: Back to New Hampshire -- had he said that night "yes I've had relationships and I have come through them. It's been difficult. We're still together," he'd have still been elected?

FLOWERS: I think he would have been elected, and I think that almost anything then that would have come his way because he would have been perceived as an honest man would not have affected him as severely as things have. And I do believe they have even -- even though the economy is good and I think his approval rate really is based on that, I think that people didn't -- people from the -- from the time that my story came out, I don't think it was necessarily that they didn't believe it had happened, they didn't know the details of it or how in-depth it was or how much of my story to believe, but that pull an element of doubt in their minds as to whether or not they could believe him. That has persisted and it's grown with all the other situations that have happened.

KING: Have you had anybody yet say their sorry?

FLOWERS: Oh, yes I have.

KING: This week especially?

FLOWERS: Yes I certainly have.

KING: Friends? Acquaintances? Other people? People on the street?

FLOWERS: Yes I have. And I have had media sources call me and apologize.

KING: From the networks or newspapers?

FLOWERS: Networks, newspapers that have said very ugly things, and made huge assumptions and reported things that weren't true. And I appreciate that.

KING: He is the comeback kid.

FLOWERS: And they don't call him slick Willey for nothing.

KING: So you're not going to say this is -- this is down the pedestal?

FLOWERS: No, I would never -- well, like you have said a number of times tonight, we don't have all the evidence on this.

KING: We sure don't.

FLOWERS: We do not. Anything can happen.

KING: One other thing: Having had a relationship, when you see him, being interviewed on this program, getting off of a plane, walking with Hillary on the beach, I mean he's the president of the United States, what feelings do you have?

FLOWERS: I am very proud for him in the way that he's the president because I know that was his goal when he was attorney general of Arkansas.

KING: He wanted to be president?

FLOWERS: He wanted to be president of the United States. I said honey that's a nice thing to want to do but I thought how likely is that? What I realized about him very early on is that he was very ambitious. And I know that was the goal of his life. So in that sense, I respect him and I am proud of him for accomplishing that. I can't help but be.

KING: Thank you Gennifer.

FLOWERS: Thank you.

KING: Thanks for coming here.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: When we return: Gennifer Flowers reacts to Bill Clinton's reluctant admission that he did have sex with Monica Lewinsky.


W. CLINTON: She didn't tell the truth. She hired a lawyer a year ago, or a year-and-a-half ago to say that anybody that said that was a liar and would be sued, and she admitted that she changed her position for money.

Nothing happened in that press conference today that changed that. My wife and I said everything we have to say about this whole subject yesterday. As far as I'm concerned, it's a closed matter. And I think...





W. CLINTON: This afternoon, in this room, from this chair, I testified before the office of independent counsel and the grand jury. I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.


KING: Welcome back. We;re bringing you excerpts of our interviews with Gennifer Flowers. On August 17, 1998, Bill Clinton testified about his sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and later that day gave a televised address about his misconduct. His comments came in for a lot of criticism.

Gennifer Flowers joined us for another conversation about two weeks after that address, and I asked her for her reaction to the president's speech.


FLOWERS: Oh, I felt like that -- it was typical political sidestepping. I didn't believe that Bill really confronted the issue and asked for forgiveness like I think he should have. I think that he just doesn't have enough faith that the American public would appreciate an out-and-out apology.

KING: Were you surprised at that or not surprised?

FLOWERS: I was not surprised, no.

KING: Because of your past history?

FLOWERS: Exactly, yes. KING: Is it that he doesn't want to confront it or he doesn't believe the public will help him? What, you know, what do you think his thinking is?

FLOWERS: Well, I think that he can see through the polls that he still has a tremendous amount of support from the American public even under the circumstances. I think he's between a rock and a hard place. I mean, he does have a family to consider.

I think that Bill has the mentality, and has had it for years, that it causes it to be hard for him to actually make an out-and-out admission of something, and I see that -- I still see that in him.

KING: Do you think that's kind of a -- we're not psychiatrists here -- a sickness of a kind? An illness of a kind?

FLOWERS: Well, I think that would be up -- like you say, we're not psychiatrists -- I think that would be up to a professional to determine. I that think what is positive, however, about what he did say in his speech to the country was he did admit some wrongdoing, so that I would imagine a professional psychologist would say that could be a step toward the healing process for his family, for him and maybe that he would go on, maybe, to get some help for a problem.

KING: By the way, Gennifer Flowers has a career of her own we'll be discussing now. She's going to start a major concert tour. She's very happily married now. Things are very happy for you now.

FLOWERS: Yes, I'm doing great.

KING: Do you ever get the feeling, "I started all of this"?

FLOWERS: Well, you know, certainly, yes, but I didn't start it on purpose.

KING: I know, but does it make you feel at all badly that what you began, even though elected twice since you brought it up, that you started an American tragedy.

FLOWERS: I may have started it, but I didn't perpetuate the problem. If there is a strategy as we sit here and talk it would be Bill Clinton's fault, and I think that he certainly should take responsibility for his actions, which at times he finds hard to do.

KING: What do you think about her? What are your feelings?

FLOWERS: Well, I -- I would imagine that Monica Lewinsky is a very confused young lady right now. I feel very badly for her, because I know that when this happened to me I was at least a little bit older and I had lived some life and I had some maturity and I knew how to deal with things, for the most part, even though this was overwhelming. Well, I know this is overwhelming in her life, and I know that she doesn't have the age and probably not the maturity, to the extent that I had, to try to survive something like this, because let me tell you, it puts you in a position of considering an alternative that's not very pleasant. KING: Like?

FLOWERS: Like doing away with yourself.

KING: You thought of that?

FLOWERS: I certainly did. It was very unbearable at times for not only myself but for my family.

KING: After it was revealed?

FLOWERS: Exactly. And I'm sure that she's going through all those same things. She thinks or does care for this man, love this man.

KING: You did too.

FLOWERS: Absolutely. I adored him.

KING: Did you feel this was a love returned? That you were in love with each other?

FLOWERS: Oh, absolutely.

KING: Did you think he would have left his wife for you?

FLOWERS: I thought at first that that was a possibility. I realized at a point that that was not going to happen.

KING: Why did you stay in the affair?

FLOWERS: I was so very much in love with him that I felt like, you know, 30 minutes of wonderful was better than a lifetime of OK, and anytime I was with him was pretty wonderful.

KING: Why did it end?

FLOWERS: It finally ended after many, many years because I had -- when I first started seeing Bill I was 27 years old. When I broke off the relationship with him I was in my 40s. So, you can imagine the difference in maturity and the growth that I had experienced.

KING: You broke it off?


KING: Because?

FLOWERS: I had met my to-be husband, and...

KING: How did he take that, the president -- the governor.

FLOWERS: Well, he was -- he was very sad about it. He was not surprised. He wanted me to do well and have a good life. He knew it would come to that one day.

KING: How did you feel when he testified to only once being with you?

FLOWERS: Well, by that point, I, you know, I'm not surprised...

KING: Were you shocked?

FLOWERS: No. I'm not shocked or surprised at anything anymore.

KING: Do you think there were other women while you were seeing him?

FLOWERS: I think so, yes. I didn't...

KING: Don't know, but think?

FLOWERS: I think so. I didn't realize that that was going on, but when my story became public and then a number of other women came forward and then there were stories in the media, certainly I had to come to the realization that, you know, that I wasn't the only other woman.



FLOWERS: "The man on `60 Minutes' was not the man I fell in love with. I dealt with my hurt -- I have dealt with my hurt for two years now, so this is nothing new to me. I would have liked to think that after a 12-year relationship he would have had the guts to say, `Yes, I had an affair with this woman, but it's over, and that's the truth'"




QUESTION: Do you know this woman, Ms. Flowers?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER FIRST LADY: Yes, we know her; yes, we sure do. Have known her for a long time.

QUESTION: I'm sure you read this article.

H. CLINTON: No, I haven't; I won't. I won't read that trash.


KING: Do you think that in view of all we have learned or seemingly learned or supposed that Hillary Clinton was an enabler in this, that she looked the other way?

FLOWERS: I think so, yes, that, you know, -- here again -- whatever I say that is perceived as negative about Hillary, you know, is -- I can -- I get very criticized for.

KING: It may not be a critique. It may be just a fact. FLOWERS: Yes, I do believe she's an enabler. But I hesitate to say anything negative about Hillary because I was the other woman that caused a lot of pain in that marriage.

KING: Do you think they'll ever divorce?

FLOWERS: I have no idea.

KING: He talked about her a lot, did he? What do you make about that relationship? What do you read it as? Obviously it has problems. What are its pluses?

FLOWERS: I think that Bill and Hillary Clinton have a very special relationship and I think in very many ways to them it's a very satisfying relationship. I think that it's a mutual respect with a goal of power to achieve, maintain power. And I think that they have been good partners in that. I think they have problems today, but I think that they certainly have accomplished a number of goals together.

KING: How do -- you could only imagine how they're dealing with this pain, right?


KING: Do you think it's tough for the president or do you think...


KING: Because of the public embarrassment.

FLOWERS: Yes. I think he hates that he got caught.

KING: That's what he's mad at?

FLOWERS: I think so, yes.

KING: No at being with an intern?

FLOWERS: He should be ashamed of himself for doing that, but I believe that he's more upset because he got caught.

KING: But it's not just keeping score, is it? For example, after you broke off the relationship and you got engaged, he kept in touch with you, right, as a friend?

FLOWERS: He did. He did that.

KING: So let's discuss some of the pluses here. He's bright. He cares. Does he care -- he didn't treat you like property, did he?

FLOWERS: Absolutely not. He treated me with a tremendous amount of respect. He loved my ideas and goals. He was proud of me for being an independent, liberated woman. He was -- he himself was very ambitious. He had a lot of integrity. He had goals as well. And I admired him a great deal. My love -- I know -- not only loved Bill Clinton but I respected him back then.

KING: Even though it was -- you know he was having an affair out of his marriage.


KING: You loved him that much?

FLOWERS: I loved him that much.

KING: You would have married him?

FLOWERS: There was a time I would have married him. I am very grateful at this point that I didn't. I have a wonderful husband that I feel like will be faithful to me.

KING: Do you think Bill is very angry at you? What do you think? You haven't talked to him.

FLOWERS: I have not talked with him. I think that Bill did what he had to do to survive. And I think he knows that I have done what I have had to do to survive.

KING: So you're not shocked at his original denial and then saying only once?

FLOWERS: No, because I keep hearing in my ears the old Arkansas phrase of the good old boys, are you going to believe me or your lying eyes? You know, I knew that Bill did what he had to do. It didn't make me feel better. It didn't hurt any me any less, didn't devastate my life any less. But I knew that he was doing what he thought he had to do to survive.

KING: Is there kind of a perverse double feeling you have going on. One, you knew him; you loved him; got to feel sorry for him, on the other hand you have been proven right. So what do you do with that balance of diversity?

FLOWERS: You're very perceptive, I must say, because you're exactly right. I have all of those feelings.

KING: See, I told you. You have got to have an I-told-you feeling. But at the same time you loved this guy.

FLOWERS: Larry, I know him as well as anyone on this earth knows this man. I know him. I know him very well. That's why I have been able to predict various things that have come to pass. I am not pleased they have come to pass.

KING: You wish -- hoped you would have been wrong?

FLOWERS: I would loved to have been wrong for the sake, for his sake, for my sake and for the sake of the American public.

KING: Do you think it could happen again?

FLOWERS: Oh, gosh. I think that if they continue to stay married they could have problems.

KING: If someone is an alcoholic you can't guarantee they're not going to drink tomorrow.

FLOWERS: That's very true. And I don't know. I would like to think that it wouldn't happen again while he's still in office. I think we have had enough. I think even he realizes that even though his base of support has been maintained to some degree that I just don't -- he could not survive that.

KING: Did you vote for him.

FLOWERS: I didn't.

KING: We'll come back with Gennifer Flowers. We'll take some calls. We're going to talk to you about what she's doing with her life. Don't go away.



W. CLINTON: They said that this sort of thing could be published in a newspaper like the "Star," that says Martians walk on the earth, you'd never ask me if Martians walk on the earth. I mean I think it's just -- this whole thing is amazing and very, very sad, but there's nothing to be done about it. There's a lot of money out there today for stories like this, and she got some of it. That's all I can tell you.



KING: To Houston, Texas, hello?

CALLER: Yes. This is a question for Gennifer Flowers.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Three or four months ago, she was on "Geraldo" and said that was going to be her last interview regarding Bill Clinton. I'd like to know why she's doing this interview and how much money she's made off of her story.

KING: You made nothing tonight. I know that.

FLOWERS: I just couldn't resist Larry. That's why I'm back on the air here. A lot of things have happened, obviously, since that show, and it was a lot -- it was several months ago, actually. It wasn't just four months ago.

And as far as any money that I have made in reference to this situation, actually, what this has done to me has caused me to not be able to go on with a career that I had established and was very successful with. Any amount of money that could be perceived that I have made as a result of this is very minimal compared to what I could have made had I been able to go on with my life and my story.

KING: Really?

FLOWERS: Absolutely.

KING: Is that saying then if you had to do it all over you wouldn't?

FLOWERS: Well, you know, I felt like I didn't have any choice. What I would have...

KING: Because you were named in the...

FLOWERS: Exactly. I mean, I didn't -- the initial story was coming out without my cooperation, my name and picture, everything.

KING: You know, you could have lied. I mean, that's always an out.

FLOWERS: I could have. I could have continued to lie, but I decided I didn't want to lie anymore. I didn't feel comfortable lying any longer, and I honestly felt that if I told the truth it would go away.

KING: What does your husband think of all of this?

FLOWERS: My husband is an Arkansas insider, so to speak, in that he actually was Webb Hubbell's brother-in-law at one time.

KING: No kidding.

FLOWERS: Yes. He knows Bill and Hillary Clinton.

KING: He was married to Webb's sister?

FLOWERS: They were married to sisters. Of course, Webb is still married.

KING: They married two sisters?

FLOWERS: They were married to sisters. And so he was pretty savvy about how the game was played and what could happen to people when he gets the power structure and so on. So he has been very supportive, thankfully. And I was wondering if I would ever be able to have a relationship and be married under the circumstances, to find someone that could actually cope with this situation.

KING: Yes. And he handles it well?

FLOWERS: He does handle it well. He knows I love him with all my heart.

KING: Does he bear the president ill will?

FLOWERS: Not really. No. He observes as I try to do as a citizen of this country -- and in being -- on his part, being involved in the stock market, you know, on a daily basis he sees the effects.

KING: When you met your husband and were falling in love, did you tell him the whole story about you and the governor?

FLOWERS: I didn't. I didn't tell him.

KING: When did he learn it?

FLOWERS: Well, when Larry Nichols filed his lawsuit, he issued a press release with the name of the women. And it went in through the fax line into his office. And that's how he first...

KING: What was that call like?

FLOWERS: He showed up at my door, actually. He didn't call. And I was surprised to see him there because he was so dedicated to his business. He never even went out for lunch and there he was. He said I think you should see this.

KING: Was he angry at you?

FLOWERS: I think he was very confused.

KING: Hurt?

FLOWERS: He wasn't hurt yet. He wanted an explanation. But he was very nice about it. I started crying. And I didn't know about the press release.

KING: Was he hurt when he learned? Because you hadn't been with the president intimately after you met your husband, right?

FLOWERS: No, I hadn't been.

KING: Was he able to say that's the past and I'll put it aside.

FLOWERS: He did. But there was something that changed between us I mean, the trust factor that we'd managed to set up at that point in that relationship was frayed.

KING: You should have told him.

FLOWERS: I should have told him. We have since, obviously reestablished that trust, but it strained our relationship.

KING: So with all the things you're going through, you have got a musical career coming, you're involved in Las Vegas, your husband is successful. You're very happy. What do you want to happen to this president?

FLOWERS: What I want is for this country to heal and go on and -- and be strong again because I don't feel like we are really that strong at this point, psychologically strong as we need to be. That's what I want to happen. I think whatever ultimately happens to Bill Clinton, first of all, remains to be seen. If it's unpleasant then I would tell you that he's brought that on himself and he just has to accept the repercussions.

KING: It's not somebody else's fault?

FLOWERS: No. I mean, I'm not saying that other people didn't participate in the activity with him.

KING: But basically, yes, no one forced...

FLOWERS: He made the choice, yes. He made the choice to do whatever it is he's done, if it's to have an affair with Monica Lewinsky, if it's to -- if it's suborning perjury, if it's witness tampering. And it may not be any of that. We don't know that yet.

KING: Do you ever feel at all a little peculiar to know that you could become the biggest concert star in the world, but Bill Clinton will be mentioned in the first paragraph of your official bio, obituary in 100 years? Do you ever feel a little peculiar in the history books.

FLOWERS: Yes because I didn't think I would ever be known for that. I thought I would be known for this, my singing ability because I did think about becoming a star, naturally, as I was growing up in the music business. But I have come to terms with that.


KING: When we return: Bill Clinton talks about his relationship with Gennifer Flowers on videotape.





KING: More highlights now from our interviews with Gennifer Flowers.

In September of '98, a videotape of Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony in the Monica Lewinsky scandal was made public. In it he admitted to having had a sexual encounter with Gennifer Flowers. Flowers came on our show a few days after the release of the videotaped testimony to react to what the president said.



W. CLINTON: I had to acknowledge, because of this definition, that under this definition I'd actually had sexual relations once with Gennifer Flowers; a person who had spread all kinds of ridiculous, dishonest, exaggerated stories about me for money. And I knew when I did that, it would be leaked. It was -- and I was embarrassed. But I did it. So I tried to read this carefully. I can tell you what I thought it covered. And I can tell you that I do not believe I did anything that I thought was covered by this.


KING: Did you watch it, Gennifer, when he said that?

FLOWERS: I did watch it. I didn't watch it straight through, but I watched a great deal of the videotape.

KING: First reaction, when you saw your name mentioned in his reference?

FLOWERS: Well, the point that I would like to make, and especially to this particular reference that we just heard about my telling stories for money. I have -- I have never lied about my relationship with Bill Clinton. The only proven liar, at this point, and the only admitted liar, is Bill Clinton; not Gennifer Flowers, not Kathleen Willey, not Paula Jones and not Monica Lewinsky, at this point. He is the only proven liar.

KING: All right, you said that he lies. And, obviously, to you, he was lying then when he acted that way. Is he -- there's no other way to put it. Is he that good at mistruth?

FLOWERS: Well, obviously, he's that good at mistruth. I mean, he has misled an entire nation and the world.

KING: In his deposition in the Jones case, he testified that he had sex with you once in 1977.


KING: Have you ever figured out how many -- in your opinion, how many times you had sex with him?

FLOWERS: I had sexual intercourse with Bill Clinton hundreds of times. And, in fact, most of the corroboration for the affair was in the '80s -- testimony and statements from the troopers, his security, and various other people; witnesses in the building, and so on. So I was very puzzled as to why he would say that it took place one time in 1977.


QUESTION: The grand jury would like to know, Mr. President, why it is that you think that oral sex performed on you does not fall within the definition of sexual relations as used in your deposition.

CLINTON: Because that is -- if the deponent is the person who has oral sex performed on him, then the contact is with -- not with anything on that list, but with the lips of another person. It seems to me self-evident that that's what it is. And I thought it was curious. Let me remind you, sir, I read this carefully, and I thought about it. I thought about what "contact" meant. I thought about what "intent to arouse or gratify" meant. And I had to admit under this definition that I'd actually had sexual relations with Gennifer Flowers. Now, I would rather have taken a whipping than done that, after all the trouble I've been through with Gennifer Flowers.


KING: Comment?

FLOWERS: Well, I -- you know, I would have rather taken a whipping than have had to've talked about it in the first place myself.

KING: Were you surprised he was that harsh? I mean, if you were together 14 years, 12 of them were intimate, is that a bit harsh?

FLOWERS: Well, I think he and I both take this very personally, because we meant so much to each other at one time.

KING: You loved him.

FLOWERS: I loved him with all my heart, and I believe that we both feel a betrayal. And I think that's the reason for the harshness from him, and at times from me.

KING: Like a messy divorce.

FLOWERS: Like a messy divorce, exactly.

KING: Is there anything you still like -- admire about him? Miss about him?

FLOWERS: I don't -- well, I -- you know, I don't have the opportunity to miss him because he's in my face all the time on the television.

KING: No, I mean on a personal basis.

FLOWERS: Well, you know, we shared some very special times together. And naturally, I still think about those. I think something that I would have to admire about Bill Clinton at this point is his tenacity and his determination. I just feel that it's misplaced, and at this point, it's a detriment to the American public.

KING: But does it surprise you?

FLOWERS: No, no. It doesn't surprise me.

KING: In other words, the Bill Clinton you knew wasn't -- is not going to quit?

FLOWERS: He's not going to quit. He'll -- he will resign only if his back is against the wall and it's either that or impeachment, because he would be a fool not to resign rather than wait around and be impeached, but...

KING: As to definitions of sex -- and we've all gone through this -- obviously you're saying -- he admits to having sex with you once. You say hundreds of times. We do know that intercourse is sex. Would you know why -- would it be a guess as to why he would not have had a sexual act of the kind we're talking with Ms. Lewinsky? Because she, certainly, in her testimony, said that she was amenable.

FLOWERS: Right. Bill came to me one evening way into our relationship, several years after it had started, and told me that he had found something in the Bible that led him to believe that oral sex did not determine that someone had committed adultery, at which time I said, "Don't be ridiculous and I don't want -- you know, don't even discuss that with me. I'm not going to go there." So if he truly believes that -- and I think he does -- he, then, felt, I guess, that he was not committing adultery.

KING: So in other words, that was OK?

FLOWERS: In his determination, he thought that was OK. I think the rest of us think this is pretty ridiculous. But I think that he really has a way of justifying things for his convenience.


KING: We hope you've enjoyed this look back at our interviews with Gennifer Flowers.

Thanks for watching LARRY KING WEEKEND; good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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