January 29, 1998 in Nation/World

Lewinsky’s Former Lover Prepares To Meet With Starr Prosecutors

Lauren Dodge Associated Press
 

Monica Lewinsky’s former lover spent Wednesday in a hotel room preparing to tell special prosecutors his story of how the former intern claimed a sexual relationship with a “high-ranking White House official.”

Andy Bleiler, accompanied by his wife, Kathy, walked hurriedly past dozens of reporters on their front lawn and stepped into a waiting blue sedan that drove them to the hotel for the meeting with lawyers for Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Their lawyers had not shown up by late in the afternoon.

Attorney Terry Giles said his clients planned to tell what Lewinsky told them and hand over what she mailed them - photographs, souvenirs and documents he said “showed a certain access to the White House I would find unusual for an intern.”

“It looked to me like stuff that wouldn’t be left around on a table,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to imply that “national secrets were stuck in someone’s panty hose and snuck outside the White House.”

As for the photographs, Giles did not say what they showed, but he stressed they weren’t of President Clinton and Lewinsky.

The flurry of activity surrounding Bleiler, a 32-year-old drama technician, began Tuesday night when he gave a news conference on his front lawn acknowledging a five-year affair with Lewinsky and portraying her as a sex-crazed, manipulative woman with a habit of twisting the truth. The negative portrayal of Lewinsky at the news conference and its timing - just minutes before Clinton’s State of the Union address - led to suspicions it was politically motivated.

But Giles maintained his clients only came forward because they felt they had pertinent information.

“There is absolutely no agenda anywhere, anyway,” Giles told reporters outside the hotel.

“This cuts both ways - it could be helpful or harmful to the president,” Giles said, adding that nothing he has heard from the Bleilers so far indicates Clinton was the “high-ranking White House official.”

“It could be that she was working her way to the top to live out her fantasy of sleeping with the president,” he said.

According to Giles, who did most of the talking at Tuesday night’s news conference, Lewinsky told Bleiler she was having oral sex with a “high-ranking White House official” and was frustrated that the relationship did not involve “regular sex.”

Giles also said Lewinsky told the Bleilers when she left for Washington in June 1995: “I’m going to the White House to get my presidential kneepads.”

Lewinsky’s lawyer, William Ginsburg, confirmed his 24-year-old client had an affair with Bleiler.

“She has had relationships with men. That is neither shocking nor is it surprising,” Ginsburg said.

Bleiler, who once worked at the drama department at Beverly Hills (Calif.) High School when Lewinsky was a student there, said the affair began after she graduated in 1992, continued while she attended Lewis & Clark College here and didn’t end until 1997.

Kathy Bleiler said Lewinsky brought gifts to the couple’s two children, and later baby-sat for them. She said she believed the younger woman was trying to worm her way into the family’s confidence.

Even after she went to Washington in 1995, Giles said, she often called the Bleilers, sometimes as often as five times a day, and told them about her sexual encounters.

Giles said the Bleilers felt Lewinsky had a “tendency sometimes to twist facts in order to enhance her own self-importance.” He said they didn’t realize the significance of Lewinsky’s claims until her name made headlines.

“Here they were, joking about how ‘Monica does Washington,” he said. ” All of a sudden, it’s the most important issue in the country.”


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