20 Questions: Kathleen Willey

This week’s “20 Questions” profiles Kathleen Willey, author of Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Willey accused Bill Clinton of fondling her in the Oval Office in 1997. I found Willey, a real estate agent who lives near Richmond, Va., so interesting that her question limit had to surpass 20. 

The timing of your new book is interesting. It’s smack in the middle of a presidential campaign. Why now?
For a number of reasons. I was given the opportunity to write the book and I certainly took the opportunity. I was able to right the wrongs. It helped me reclaim my life. I had a lot taken from me from the Clintons. This story is important, especially for women to read. No citizen should be subjected to what I was.

Why are you trying to hurt Hillary Rodham Clinton? What did she do to you?
I’m not trying to hurt Hillary Clinton. I’m telling a story about what happened to me that I think would enlighten the American public.

You indicate in your book that you don’t like her. Is there a reason?
I document in the book that Hillary Clinton has, for years, hired private investigators to clean up after her husband, and sends them to quiet women like me, who had the misfortune of crossing paths with Bill Clinton. Juanita Broaddrick. Paula Jones. We can’t all be lying. This is a woman who wants us to think she is a champion of women’s rights. Well, look what she does to women like me and all the women before me. This started way over 30 years ago.

You make some superficial complaints about her, right down to her clothing: “Her hair was dirty and hardly brushed and she didn’t wear a stitch of makeup, not even foundation or something to improve her ruddy, uneven skin.” Why so harsh on Hillary Clinton’s appearance?
She was the first lady of the country. She was a representative of the administration. I would think it would be important to her to look as good as she could. Look at other first ladies.

It sounds like this offends you.
I was just quite taken aback by her appearance on many occasions. She was the first lady of this country.

I was amused by your take on her swearing. So she was foul-mouthed? Did that startle you?
It’s not something you’d expect from a first lady.

Do you still think she needs a makeover today?
I have no comment on that.

What was your first impression of Bill Clinton?
My husband and I met him at a fundraiser in Charlottesville, Va., when he was running for governor. We found him to be charming and friendly and articulate. We enjoyed our time with him.

Did you think he was an attractive man?
Not particularly.

What did you think of Linda Tripp?
We were friends. I met her when I first got to the White House. She worked hard. She was a holdover from the Bushes.

But you thought she was a good person?
She was a good friend to me, yes. She was a nice friend.

From the book, it seems that your feelings on her are mixed.
They are.

You grew not to trust her.
Of course I grew not to trust her. She lied about me.

What kind of close relationship did Tripp have with Wolf Blitzer? You say she whispered to him on the phone all the time.
She told me they were friends. I heard them on the phone.

Have you spoken with Linda Tripp in recent years?
Not at all.

It seems you knew Bill had a crush on you over the years. Did you ever enjoy that?
Absolutely not. He’s a sexual predator. I [had] thought of him as a friend.

What do you think of Monica, Gennifer Flowers and the other women Clinton flirted with?
I believe all of them.

Why were you unable to say no to Bill Clinton on the day he came on to you in the Oval Office, and why were you unable to push him away from you?
My family was in the midst of a terrible crisis. I needed a job. I went to him for help. That is not anything that I expected would happen — far from it. His behavior was abominable. I was trying to handle the situation the best I could.

On page 34, you talk about Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) being an “arrogant jerk.” Why did you write that?
Because he is. He’s arrogant and not very pleasant to be around.

Do you think it’s time for a woman to be president?
I do.

Why not Hillary?
Because she’s not qualified and because of the tactics she uses against people like me. She claims to be a women’s advocate and this is what she continues to do to women who get in her way.

How much money did you receive for writing this book?
I’m not going into that.

Was it cathartic for you to write it?
Absolutely.

What would you say to Bill Clinton if you could say anything you wanted to say?

You couldn’t print it.

Do you wish you had filed criminal charges against Bill Clinton?
No.

So do you feel that writing this book will end a chapter?
I didn’t write it to end a chapter.

To recommend a political personality for 20 Questions, call Betsy Rothstein at (202)628-8516 or email at betsyr@thehill.com