Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978, is troubled by the dismissive treatment she has received from liberal news media compared with its embrace of pornography actress Stormy Daniels, who has been lauded as a “feminist hero” for her legal tangle with former President Donald Trump.
Ms. Broaddrick sees a clear double standard.
“They didn’t want to admit this horrible thing happened to me, and they still supported Bill Clinton. But the left wants every little thing they can find to go after Trump, and that’s what’s fueling this Stormy Daniels situation,” she said in an interview with The Washington Times.
One of the key differences, as Ms. Broaddrick sees it, is that Ms. Daniels has basked in the media spotlight as much as it has welcomed her.
After coming forward to accuse Mr. Clinton, Ms. Broaddrick largely stayed out of the public eye except for brief appearances in 2016 to unnerve Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when she debated Mr. Trump and, in 2018, to express support for the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Ms. Broaddrick said she has no respect for Ms. Daniels’ desire to keep the spotlight on herself while publicly accusing a president of wrongdoing.
“Stormy’s livelihood depends on being in the spotlight to promote her business,” she said. “I believe she is being motivated by financial enhancement and not for personal self-respect of doing the right thing.”
Ms. Daniels did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The two women’s accusations are very different.
Ms. Broaddrick came forward in 1999 to accuse Mr. Clinton of raping her in an Arkansas hotel room when he was the state’s attorney general, a charge he denied. It was the most serious accusation among a slew of sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Mr. Clinton over the years.
Democrats and media pundits immediately dismissed her. They argued that the incident, if true, happened a long time ago or that she wasn’t credible.
Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, accused Mr. Trump of a consensual extramarital affair in 2006. Mr. Trump has long denied the affair, but he attempted to keep Ms. Daniels quiet about it with $130,000 payments in 2016.
That payment is now at the center of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of Mr. Trump on 34 felony charges of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payoffs.
Ms. Daniels also sued Mr. Trump for defamation. She lost the lawsuit. On April 4, the same day Mr. Trump was arraigned in Manhattan, a judge ordered her to pay Mr. Trump $121,972 for his legal fees in the failed defamation case.
Feminist author Lauren Leader, in an essay last month, hailed Ms. Daniels as a “feminist hero” for taking on Mr. Trump. She praised Ms. Daniels for “speaking out on her own terms, loudly and unabashedly.”
Ms. Daniels has become a frequent guest on the late-night talk show circuit and made a guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
When her allegations against Mr. Trump first became public in 2018, she was welcomed with open arms. Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, predicted that Ms. Daniels would be their Trump slayer.
“If, for some reason, [special counsel Robert] Mueller does not get him, Stormy will. So we know that this is going to go on,” she said.
When Ms. Broaddrick stepped forward, lawmakers and political pundits immediately brushed her aside.
“Even if it does turn out to be true, it happened a long time ago. … Maybe the American public has heard all they want to hear about this and are saying, ‘You know, next. Let’s move on to the next thing,’” CBS News anchor Dan Rather told radio host Don Imus at the time.
Years later, some of Ms. Broaddrick’s critics have had a change of heart.
In 2018, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen said he didn’t believe Ms. Broaddrick at first but called for a fresh look at her claims.
“I remember refusing to deal with Broaddrick’s allegation because I simply chose to believe Clinton was not a rapist,” he wrote.
Ms. Broaddrick said she was dismissed simply because Democrats didn’t want to be confronted with the idea that Mr. Clinton raped her. When she was interviewed as part of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation of Mr. Clinton, not one Democrat read the transcript.
“They didn’t want to believe it,” she said. “Not one Democrat believed me. I think they thought, ‘Oh, my God. If I read that, I may believe it.’”
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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